Dissolved Oxygen and Woody Debris: Detecting Sensitive Forest Streams

by George G. Ice, Natl Council of the Paper Industry, for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc, Corvallis, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Air-Water Mass Transfer


Early watershed studies showed that timber harvesting and yarding could depress dissolved oxygen in nearby streams when fresh slash entered streams and streamside shade was reduced. State forestry agencies developed rules to avoid these problems that kept fresh slash out of streams and maintained shade. New forest practice rules are designed to increase amounts of woody debris in streams for fish habitat, rejuvenating concerns about water quality and dissolved oxygen. Stream sensitivity to surface water declines in dissolved oxygen can be predicted from the reaeration coefficient, potential for oxygen demand from organic material in the stream, and potential for stream heating. A study relating the reaeration coefficient to hydraulic conditions was conducted for seven small streams in Oregon during summer and fall low flows (0.0008-0.016 m3/s) when oxygen is most likely to be depressed. Of special concern for these types of streams is the treatment of rapidly varied (nonuniform) flows and isolated pools. Maximum energy dissipation and the depth of the active stream were found to be important independent variables in predicting reaeration coefficients for these turbulent stream systems.

Subject Headings: Ecological restoration | Dissolved oxygen | Wood | Debris | Forests | Rivers and streams | Water quality | Nonuniform flow | Oregon | United States

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