BASEFLOW GENERATION AND LOSS IN THE LITTLE CHAZY RIVER WATERSHED, NORTHEASTERN NEW YORK
Effluent conditions predominate in the upland portions of the watershed, except for a local influent reach at the site of a former hydroelectric dam on Altona Flat Rock. Most baseflow is generated in a 6km reach where the river descends from Altona Flat Rock into the Champlain Lowland. The Little Chazy River becomes influent again as it crosses the Champlain Lowland. The point at which the transition occurs varies with baseflow magnitude. At low flow, nearly all of the baseflow is generated in the upper reaches, thus minimizing the impact of ground water runoff from agricultural land. As baseflow increases following runoff events, a greater proportion of baseflow is generated in lowland agricultural regions.
Stream water temperature data are consistent with baseflow observations. Water temperature generally declines through effluent reaches, especially at points of spring inflow, and increases in influent reaches. Water temperature trends, although affected by other variables such as air temperature, residence time and land cover, may be used to independently confirm baseflow generation interpretations from streamflow measurements.
The National Science Foundation, Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program (EAR-0353750) funded this study.