EPA Science Inventory

Oregon Hydrologic Landscapes: A Classification Framework

Citation:

WIGINGTON JR, P. J., S. G. LEIBOWITZ, R. COMELEO, AND J. L. EBERSOLE. Oregon Hydrologic Landscapes: A Classification Framework. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN WATER RESOURCES ASSOCIATION. American Water Resources Association, Middleburg, VA, 49(1):163-182, (2012).

Description:

There is a growing need for hydrologic classification systems that can provide a basis for broad-scale assessments of the hydrologic functions of landscapes and watersheds and their responses to stressors such as climate change. We developed a hydrologic landscape (HL) classification approach that describes factors of climate-watershed systems that control the hydrologic characteristics of watersheds. Our assessment units are incremental watersheds (i.e., headwater watersheds or areas draining directly into stream reaches). Major components of the classification include indices of annual climate, climate seasonality, aquifer permeability, terrain, and soil permeability. To evaluate the usefulness of our approach, we identified 30 rivers with long-term streamflow-gauging records and without major diversions and impoundments. We used statistical clustering to group the streams based on the shapes of their annual hydrographs. Comparison of the streamflow clusters and HL distributions within river basin clusters shows that the Oregon HL approach has the ability to provide insights about the expected hydrologic behavior of HLs and larger river basins. The Oregon HL approach has potential to be a useful framework for comparing hydrologic attributes of streams and rivers in the Pacific Northwest.

Purpose/Objective:

To better understand hydrologic behavior of Oregon streams and wetlands, we developed a hydrologic landscape (HL) classification approach that describes factors of climate-watershed systems that control the magnitude and delivery of water to and through watersheds to stream networks.

URLs/Downloads:

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Start Date: 02/01/2013
Completion Date: 02/01/2013
Record Last Revised: 03/26/2013
Record Created: 09/29/2010
Record Released: 09/29/2010
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 230281

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB

WESTERN ECOLOGY DIVISION

FRESHWATER ECOLOGY BRANCH