Spatial and temporal variability of hydraulic conductivity in active reattachment bars of the Colorado River, Grand Canyon

Abraham E Springer, William D. Petroutson, Betsy A. Semmens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ground water/surface water interaction in rivers is dependent on the hydraulic conductivity of sediments lining the streambed. This study was designed to determine the temporal and spatial variability of the hydraulic conductivity of active sedimentary deposits lining the streambed of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. These reattachment bars form aquifers and create return-current channels that are critical for supporting terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Monitoring wells were placed in five separate reattachment bars over a 200 mile long reach of the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam. Hydraulic conductivity was measured in all wells with the pneumatic slug test method. There is no significant difference in hydraulic conductivity among the five reattachment bars in the Grand Canyon. Hydraulic conductivity is bimodally distributed within a reattachment bar because of differing sizes of sediments deposited under different eddy velocities. A major controlled release of water from Glen Canyon Dam in March 1996 redistributed the sediments in the reattachment bars and compressed sediments deposited during previous floods. Hydraulic conductivity was significantly lower in these sediments after the flood due to the increased effective stress from the newly deposited sediment. A year later, after the sediments had drained and some deflation had occurred, hydraulic conductivity of sand deposits returned to values similar to pre-flood values, whereas fine-grained sediments that compressed weren't able to elastically respond.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)338-344
Number of pages7
JournalGroundwater
Volume37
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1999

Fingerprint

Hydraulic conductivity
canyon
hydraulic conductivity
Sediments
Rivers
river
sediment
Linings
Dams
dam
Deposits
groundwater-surface water interaction
slug test
well
deflation
fine grained sediment
Aquatic ecosystems
effective stress
terrestrial ecosystem
aquatic ecosystem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Water Science and Technology

Cite this

Spatial and temporal variability of hydraulic conductivity in active reattachment bars of the Colorado River, Grand Canyon. / Springer, Abraham E; Petroutson, William D.; Semmens, Betsy A.

In: Groundwater, Vol. 37, No. 3, 05.1999, p. 338-344.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{b784bebf9799490198f21a779784d606,
title = "Spatial and temporal variability of hydraulic conductivity in active reattachment bars of the Colorado River, Grand Canyon",
abstract = "Ground water/surface water interaction in rivers is dependent on the hydraulic conductivity of sediments lining the streambed. This study was designed to determine the temporal and spatial variability of the hydraulic conductivity of active sedimentary deposits lining the streambed of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. These reattachment bars form aquifers and create return-current channels that are critical for supporting terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Monitoring wells were placed in five separate reattachment bars over a 200 mile long reach of the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam. Hydraulic conductivity was measured in all wells with the pneumatic slug test method. There is no significant difference in hydraulic conductivity among the five reattachment bars in the Grand Canyon. Hydraulic conductivity is bimodally distributed within a reattachment bar because of differing sizes of sediments deposited under different eddy velocities. A major controlled release of water from Glen Canyon Dam in March 1996 redistributed the sediments in the reattachment bars and compressed sediments deposited during previous floods. Hydraulic conductivity was significantly lower in these sediments after the flood due to the increased effective stress from the newly deposited sediment. A year later, after the sediments had drained and some deflation had occurred, hydraulic conductivity of sand deposits returned to values similar to pre-flood values, whereas fine-grained sediments that compressed weren't able to elastically respond.",
author = "Springer, {Abraham E} and Petroutson, {William D.} and Semmens, {Betsy A.}",
year = "1999",
month = "5",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "37",
pages = "338--344",
journal = "Ground Water",
issn = "0017-467X",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Spatial and temporal variability of hydraulic conductivity in active reattachment bars of the Colorado River, Grand Canyon

AU - Springer, Abraham E

AU - Petroutson, William D.

AU - Semmens, Betsy A.

PY - 1999/5

Y1 - 1999/5

N2 - Ground water/surface water interaction in rivers is dependent on the hydraulic conductivity of sediments lining the streambed. This study was designed to determine the temporal and spatial variability of the hydraulic conductivity of active sedimentary deposits lining the streambed of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. These reattachment bars form aquifers and create return-current channels that are critical for supporting terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Monitoring wells were placed in five separate reattachment bars over a 200 mile long reach of the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam. Hydraulic conductivity was measured in all wells with the pneumatic slug test method. There is no significant difference in hydraulic conductivity among the five reattachment bars in the Grand Canyon. Hydraulic conductivity is bimodally distributed within a reattachment bar because of differing sizes of sediments deposited under different eddy velocities. A major controlled release of water from Glen Canyon Dam in March 1996 redistributed the sediments in the reattachment bars and compressed sediments deposited during previous floods. Hydraulic conductivity was significantly lower in these sediments after the flood due to the increased effective stress from the newly deposited sediment. A year later, after the sediments had drained and some deflation had occurred, hydraulic conductivity of sand deposits returned to values similar to pre-flood values, whereas fine-grained sediments that compressed weren't able to elastically respond.

AB - Ground water/surface water interaction in rivers is dependent on the hydraulic conductivity of sediments lining the streambed. This study was designed to determine the temporal and spatial variability of the hydraulic conductivity of active sedimentary deposits lining the streambed of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. These reattachment bars form aquifers and create return-current channels that are critical for supporting terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Monitoring wells were placed in five separate reattachment bars over a 200 mile long reach of the Colorado River below Glen Canyon Dam. Hydraulic conductivity was measured in all wells with the pneumatic slug test method. There is no significant difference in hydraulic conductivity among the five reattachment bars in the Grand Canyon. Hydraulic conductivity is bimodally distributed within a reattachment bar because of differing sizes of sediments deposited under different eddy velocities. A major controlled release of water from Glen Canyon Dam in March 1996 redistributed the sediments in the reattachment bars and compressed sediments deposited during previous floods. Hydraulic conductivity was significantly lower in these sediments after the flood due to the increased effective stress from the newly deposited sediment. A year later, after the sediments had drained and some deflation had occurred, hydraulic conductivity of sand deposits returned to values similar to pre-flood values, whereas fine-grained sediments that compressed weren't able to elastically respond.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0032901870&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0032901870&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0032901870

VL - 37

SP - 338

EP - 344

JO - Ground Water

JF - Ground Water

SN - 0017-467X

IS - 3

ER -