Water Testing Project for the North Fork River. Water testing day is Tuesday May 17 th at the North Arm Trailhead. Physical Properties of a Watershed System. Stream Shape. Stream Flow. Stream Flow. The amount of water that flows past a specific point in a stream over a period of time.
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Water testing day is Tuesday May 17th at the North Arm Trailhead.
The amount of water that flows past a specific point in a stream over a period of time.
1. Measure a 10 m section and mark it with rocks.
2. Throw a stick in above this section and use a stop watch to measure the time it takes the stick to travel the 10 m section 3 separate times. Average the times.
3. Divide the average time (sec) by the distance (10m) to get the velocity (m/s).
4. Measure the depth (m) & width(m) to find an area (m2).
5. Stream flow = velocity (m/sec) x area (m2)
Stream Channel Patterns
without much slope. Slower
some riffles and runs
Steep gradient, fast flowing
Substrate is predominantly cobble and gravel
Mostly runs some riffles
River continually splits
and rejoins. River moves
across broad flat
plains. Slow and
Mostly runs and
Mixture of silt,
Sand, and gravel.
Riffles have high oxygen amounts essential for macroinvertabrates (bugs) and spawning fish.
Runs where fish feed and travel
Pools where fish hide and rest from the current
1. Take one step next to your river section, look across the river.
3. Make 50 observations.
4. Total the tally for each characteristic.
5. Multiply the totals by 2 to find the % riffle, run or pool that your river section contains.
Friction created by substrate
Development, logging, mining, grazing can destroy vegetation which causes more water and sediment to drain directly into a stream rather than being filter through groundwater.
Channel alterations, ie. straightening of a stream along a highway or through a city center
Dams prevent downstream flooding but then stream nutrients are not distributed throughout the floodplain to plants.
Straightening of a stream increases velocity, which results in higher erosion rates and more turbidity
Darker streams impact temperature and amount of sunlight that reaches plant life.
A straight stream does not have the variety of habitats found in a meandering stream
Physical Characteristics of the river will be correlated to the chemical and biological parameters.
Channel pattern and shape will effect velocity and erosion which will in turn effect temperature and oxygen and/or nutrients.
Substrate will be related to velocity and oxygen which will determine how many bugs are in the river.
Riffle/Run/Pool ratio will indicate the diversity of the aquatic habitats and in relation to this the diversity of life in the stream. High diversity correlates to high water quality.