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Title page for ETD etd-03012007-104920

Type of Document Professional Paper
Author Magruder, Ian Auguste
Author's Email Address
URN etd-03012007-104920
Title Evaluation of an Ecohydrologic-Process Model Approach to Estimating Annual Mountain-Block Recharge
Degree Master of Science
Department Geology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Dr. William Woessner Committee Chair
Dr. Joel Harper Committee Member
Dr. Steven Running Committee Member
  • water balance
  • Montana
  • MBR
  • mountain-block recharge
  • hydrogeology
  • ecohydrology
  • Biome-BGC
  • model
  • process
  • ecosystem
  • block
  • mountain
  • ground water
  • recharge
  • groundwater
Date of Defense 2006-12-14
Availability unrestricted
Magruder, Ian, M.S., December 2006 Geology

Evaluation of an Ecohydrologic-Process Model Approach to Estimating Annual

Mountain-Block Recharge

Chairperson: Dr. William Woessner

Regional subsurface mountain-block recharge (MBR) is viewed as a key component of basin aquifer systems found in semi-arid environments. Yet water resource managers do not have a commonly available and reasonably invoked quantitative method to constrain possible MBR rates. Recent advances in landscape-scale ecohydrologic process modeling offer the possibility that weather, climate, and land surface physical and vegetative conditions can be used to estimate MBR. We present an approach that

uses remotely sensed physiographic data to model a mountain water balance including the component of MBR. In this approach, we evaluate the ecosystem process model Biome-BGC (Running and Hunt, 1993; Thornton et al., 2002), used in tandem with the mountain climate simulation program MT-CLIM (Running et al., 1987; Kimball et al.,1997; Thornton and Running, 1999), to calculate the annual MBR within a 24,600 ha

watershed. The modeling tool is also used to investigate how climatic and vegetative

controls influence recharge dynamics along the basin-mountain physiographic gradient. Our work estimated mean annual MBR flux in this crystalline bedrock terrain to be 99,000 m3/d or approximately 19% of annual precipitation. Data analyses indicate that vegetative control on soil moisture flux is significant only at lower elevations and snowmelt is the only significant annual recharge source occurring on a macroscale in this environment. Results also demonstrate that evapotranspiration (ET) is radiation limited

in wet years and moisture limited in dry years, and consequently potential recharge to groundwater is significantly higher during wet climate cycles. The application of ecohydrologic modeling to estimate MBR shows promise for modeling MBR at the mountain-scale. However, future efforts will need to incorporate a more advanced understanding of mountain recharge processes and refined ability to simulate those

processes at varying and appropriate scales.

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Magruder_2006_ETDP.pdf 2.43 Mb

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