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Historical Flashiness Index Dynamics in Urbanizing Streams in Southwestern Ontario

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posted on 2023-09-01, 21:28 authored by Dwayne Keir

Urban-growth increases impervious-surface cover and ‘flashy’ streamflow responses. Research has suggested that flashy streamflow occurs when total impervious area (TIA) approaches and crosses 10% of a watershed. This study examines the spatiotemporal variability in river flashiness of rural/urbanizing watersheds in southwestern Ontario. This research addresses relationships between river flashiness and watershed TIA across 37 watersheds as they approach and/or cross 10% TIA between 1990 and 2017. The Richards-Baker Flashiness Index (RBFI) were calculated using hydrometric-data for each watershed. Watershed TIA was estimated for the years 1990/2000/2010/2017 using land-use-data. Strength and direction of the RBFI-TIA relationship is compared to other watershed characteristics (area, soil type). Results show that spatial variability in RBFI is best explained by soil type rather than TIA. Mann-Kendall trend-analysis revealed 10/37 watersheds exhibited significantly increasing RBFI trends. Watersheds with larger increases in RBFI over the study period had lower urban-growth suggesting factors beyond TIA influencing 

watershed flashiness. 

History

Language

English

Degree

  • Master of Applied Science

Program

  • Environmental Applied Science and Management

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • Thesis

Thesis Advisor

Dr. Claire Oswald

Year

2021

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    Environmental Applied Science and Management (Theses)

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