Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Civil and Environmental Engineering


Bethany Neilson


Dam releases increase river stage and can reverse groundwater movement into and out of the river. As the flood, thermal, and solute waves travel downstream in a regulated river, the size of the waves is anticipated to be affected both by river processes and exchanges with near river groundwater. This study established a modeling framework to quantify the influences of the groundwater exchanges on the temperatures and solute concentration dynamics along regulated rivers. The wave properties, volume of exchanges, conservative solute mass exchanges, and heat energy exchanges were calculated as a function of time and distance downstream. Results show that the temperature and solute concentrations are influenced by the arrival of flood waves. Groundwater exchanges were found to affect temperatures along the river with a minimal effect on solute concentration. These findings provide insight regarding the influences of hydropeaking occurring in a large fraction of rivers in the world which has important implications for water quality and the ecology of regulated rivers.