Date of Award:

2014

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Advisor/Chair:

Bethany T. Neilson

Abstract

Beaver dams alter streams characteristics in a way that promotes the diversity of aquatic species and provides a wide distribution of temperatures within beaver ponds. In order to quantify the spatial distribution of these temperatures, a process-based temperature model was developed for a beaver pond in Northern Utah. This model provided insight into the processes and characteristics that are driving these temperatures. Solar radiation is one of these processes that is often the primary driver of stream temperature. There is a need to develop methods to measure the fate of solar radiation within the water to better represent solar radiation within stream temperature models. Black-body pyranometers are instruments that measure solar radiation in air, but require corrections for use underwater. Studies were conducted investigating methods for correcting these instruments. Based on the results of these studies it is suggested that these corrections are dependent on the spectrum of the light source and that the instrument needs further corrections when the light source is measured from different angles; therefore there is a need for further investigation into pyranometer corrections in order to measure the fate of solar radiation in natural water bodies. Combined, this research provides methods and suggests additional research opportunities for more accurately quantifying and predicting stream temperatures for waters impacted by beaver.

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