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Document Type

Open Access

Degree Program

Geosciences

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded

2009

Month Degree Awarded

February

Keywords

Hydrogeology, Surface water / ground-water interactions, ground-water models, Deerfield River, Temperature, Dams

Abstract

Understanding the connection of surface waters to ground-water systems is important when evaluating potential water resources. In the past surface waters and ground-water have been viewed as two different sources of water but more commonly now they are viewed as one connected resource (Winter et al, 1998). The nature of connection between surface and ground-waters varies depending on climatic and geologic settings, as well as anthropogenic influences such as ground-water pumping and manipulation of river flows by dams. This thesis takes advantage of daily stage changes in the Deerfield River to investigate surface water interactions with ground-water in Charlemont, MA. Two dimensional transient numerical models are constructed to simulate ground-water response to river stage changes. These models are coupled to hypothetical mass transport models to investigate mixing mechanisms of conservative solutes under varying hydraulic scenarios. These simulations support the hypothesis that daily stage fluctuations cause a pumping mechanism which drives solutes into ground-water systems adjacent to a river at rates higher then normal flow conditions, or even under certain flood conditions.

Riverbed pore-water temperature responses to diurnal temperature fluctuations are measured at two sites along the Deerfield River exposed to the same daily stage changes caused by dams. Temperature and stage data are collected at two sites with differing geologic settings. These data are used to calibrate simple two dimensional models of ground-water flow and heat transport to site specific riverbed hydraulic conductivities. It is suggested that due to the differing depositional environments of the two field sites, hydraulic conductivity of riverbed materials differ, which affects the exchange flux between surface water and ground-water. Understanding the exchange between surface and ground waters under varying hydraulic and geologic conditions is vital to characterizing local water resources and determining ecosystems health.

First Advisor

David F. Boutt

Included in

Geology Commons

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