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Title:Numerical modeling of groundwater-driven stream network evolution in low-relief areas
Author(s):Cullen, Cecilia
Advisor(s):Anders, Alison
Contributor(s):Druhan, Jennifer
Department / Program:Geology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Rivers, Landscape-evolution
Abstract:Fluvial channel networks are observed to grow in unchannelized areas of low relief despite the low potential energy for erosion in these areas of low slope. Under these low slope conditions significant channel growth only occurs when water is collected and flows as concentrated discharge in specific areas. Previous work examined how surface water routing out of closed depressions on the landscape could produce concentrated discharge to drive channel incision. We propose that water could be routed underground to feed growing channels and numerically model the contribution of groundwater contribution to stream development. Our results show that groundwater seepage steepens river long profiles, and moderate groundwater contributions (< 25% of total water) increase the rate of channel growth relative to cases with only surface water. Groundwater input also promotes branching near the groundwater seeps. These results indicate that we cannot disregard groundwater as a potentially significant contributor to stream evolution in low-relief areas. In particular, we suggest that groundwater seepage could have played a significant role in post-glacial stream development of the Central Lowlands of the United States.
Issue Date:2019-07-15
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 Cecilia Cullen
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-11-26
Date Deposited:2019-08

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