Evaluating Use of Environmental Flows to Aerate Streams by Modelling the Counterfactual Case

Evaluating Use of Environmental Flows to Aerate Streams by Modelling the Counterfactual Case This paper evaluates an experimental environmental flow manipulation by modeling the counterfactual case that no environmental flow was applied. This is an alternate approach to evaluating the effect of an environmental flow intervention when a before-after or control-impact comparison is not possible. In this case, the flow manipulation is a minimum flow designed to prevent hypoxia in a weir on the low-gradient Broken Creek in south-eastern Australia. At low flows, low reaeration rates and high respiration rates associated with elevated organic matter loading in the weir pool can lead to a decline in dissolved oxygen concentrations with adverse consequences both for water chemistry and aquatic biota. Using a one dimensional oxygen balance model fitted to field measurements, this paper demonstrates that increased flow leads to increases in reaeration rates, presumably because of enhanced turbulence and hence mixing in the surface layers. By comparing the observed dissolved oxygen levels with the modeled counterfactual case, we show that the environmental flow was effective in preventing hypoxia. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Environmental Management Springer Journals

Evaluating Use of Environmental Flows to Aerate Streams by Modelling the Counterfactual Case

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature
Subject
Environment; Environmental Management; Ecology; Nature Conservation; Atmospheric Protection/Air Quality Control/Air Pollution; Forestry Management; Waste Water Technology / Water Pollution Control / Water Management / Aquatic Pollution
ISSN
0364-152X
eISSN
1432-1009
D.O.I.
10.1007/s00267-017-0955-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper evaluates an experimental environmental flow manipulation by modeling the counterfactual case that no environmental flow was applied. This is an alternate approach to evaluating the effect of an environmental flow intervention when a before-after or control-impact comparison is not possible. In this case, the flow manipulation is a minimum flow designed to prevent hypoxia in a weir on the low-gradient Broken Creek in south-eastern Australia. At low flows, low reaeration rates and high respiration rates associated with elevated organic matter loading in the weir pool can lead to a decline in dissolved oxygen concentrations with adverse consequences both for water chemistry and aquatic biota. Using a one dimensional oxygen balance model fitted to field measurements, this paper demonstrates that increased flow leads to increases in reaeration rates, presumably because of enhanced turbulence and hence mixing in the surface layers. By comparing the observed dissolved oxygen levels with the modeled counterfactual case, we show that the environmental flow was effective in preventing hypoxia.

Journal

Environmental ManagementSpringer Journals

Published: Nov 13, 2017

References

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