Natural Resources and Environmental Issues
Little Bear River, River Continuum Analysis
In September 2012 the Aquatic Ecology Practicum class from Utah State University studied the 51km river continuum of the Little Bear River located in northern Utah (Figure 1). The relatively pristine headwaters of the river begin in the Wasatch Mountain Range at an altitude of 1800 m. The river flows northward into Cache Valley where it terminates in Cutler Reservoir (1345 m elevation). Agricultural development and urbanization have modified the natural terrain and chemical characteristics of the river, and Hyrum Reservoir, located midway along the gradient causes a discontinuity in river processes. The results from analyses of stream condition indicators from up to eleven stations along the gradient were interpreted within the context of the River Continuum Concept (Vannote et al. 1980) and the Serial Discontinuity Hypothesis (Ward and Stanford 1983).
Wurtsbaugh, Wayne A.; Heredia, Nick; Palacios, Patsy; Baker, Jared; Broderius, Chance; Fisher, Katie; Fuller, Jason; Pappas, G. Andrew; Smith, Christian; and Weston, Marc, "A River Continuum Analysis of an Anthropogenically-Impacted System: The Little Bear River, Utah" (2013). Watershed Sciences Faculty Publications. Paper 570.