A geophysical study of alpine groundwater processes and their geologic controls in the southeastern Canadian Rocky Mountains
AuthorChristensen, Craig William
Committee MemberHayashi, Masaki
Bentley, Laurence Robert
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AbstractGroundwater storage is essential for maintaining steady stream flows and temperatures in mountain watersheds, yet catchment-scale hydrogeological processes remain poorly understood. This study characterizes the hydrogeology of a new site in Kananaskis Valley of southeastern Canadian Rocky Mountains. Three different geophysical methods (electrical resistivity tomography, seismic refraction tomography, and ground penetrating radar) imaged structures such as thick, heterogenous talus, permafrost, and a buried overdeepening. Bedrock topography, overburden heterogeneity, and overburden thickness are the most important controls on groundwater flow paths and storage, and may explain anomalously high winter base flows at the site. Comparing the talus deposits to those at a contrasting site in Yoho National Park points to a causal link between hydrogeological characteristics and physiographic variables, hinting at possible spatial patterns in groundwater storage potential. These results will help water resource and ecosystem managers in adapting to stream flow changes resulting from climate change.
CitationChristensen, C. W. (2017). A geophysical study of alpine groundwater processes and their geologic controls in the southeastern Canadian Rocky Mountains (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB. doi:10.11575/PRISM/24746
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