GIS Framework for Large River Geomorphic Classification to Aid in the Evaluation of Flow-Ecology Relationships

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Assessing the environmental benefits of proposed flow modification to large rivers provides invaluable insight into future hydropower project operations and relicensing activities. Providing a means to quantitatively define flow-ecology relationships is integral in establishing flow regimes that are mutually beneficial to power production and ecological needs. To compliment this effort an opportunity to create versatile tools that can be applied to broad geographic areas has been presented. In particular, integration with efforts standardized within the ecological limits of hydrologic alteration (ELOHA) is highly advantageous (Poff et al. 2010). This paper presents a geographic information system (GIS) framework for large river ... continued below

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Vernon, Christopher R.; Arntzen, Evan V.; Richmond, Marshall C.; McManamay, R. A.; Hanrahan, Timothy P. & Rakowski, Cynthia L. February 1, 2013.

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Assessing the environmental benefits of proposed flow modification to large rivers provides invaluable insight into future hydropower project operations and relicensing activities. Providing a means to quantitatively define flow-ecology relationships is integral in establishing flow regimes that are mutually beneficial to power production and ecological needs. To compliment this effort an opportunity to create versatile tools that can be applied to broad geographic areas has been presented. In particular, integration with efforts standardized within the ecological limits of hydrologic alteration (ELOHA) is highly advantageous (Poff et al. 2010). This paper presents a geographic information system (GIS) framework for large river classification that houses a base geomorphic classification that is both flexible and accurate, allowing for full integration with other hydrologic models focused on addressing ELOHA efforts. A case study is also provided that integrates publically available National Hydrography Dataset Plus Version 2 (NHDPlusV2) data, Modular Aquatic Simulation System two-dimensional (MASS2) hydraulic data, and field collected data into the framework to produce a suite of flow-ecology related outputs. The case study objective was to establish areas of optimal juvenile salmonid rearing habitat under varying flow regimes throughout an impounded portion of the lower Snake River, USA (Figure 1) as an indicator to determine sites where the potential exists to create additional shallow water habitat. Additionally, an alternative hydrologic classification useable throughout the contiguous United States which can be coupled with the geomorphic aspect of this framework is also presented. This framework provides the user with the ability to integrate hydrologic and ecologic data into the base geomorphic aspect of this framework within a geographic information system (GIS) to output spatiotemporally variable flow-ecology relationship scenarios.

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  • Report No.: PNNL-22296
  • Grant Number: AC05-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/1079745 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1079745
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc844528

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  • February 1, 2013

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  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

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  • Dec. 5, 2016, 6:24 p.m.

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Vernon, Christopher R.; Arntzen, Evan V.; Richmond, Marshall C.; McManamay, R. A.; Hanrahan, Timothy P. & Rakowski, Cynthia L. GIS Framework for Large River Geomorphic Classification to Aid in the Evaluation of Flow-Ecology Relationships, report, February 1, 2013; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc844528/: accessed August 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.