The Short-term Impacts of Aspen Clear-cutting on Upland Groundwater RechargeClear-cutting Impacts on Groundwater Recharge

  • Author / Creator
    Hairabedian, Melissa Manuella
  • The impacts of aspen clear-cutting on upland groundwater recharge are presented based on two years (2007-2008) of the five year (2005-2009) HEAD2 NSERC-CRD paired-catchment experiment. Research was conducted at the Utikuma Region Study Area (URSA), 370 km north of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, in the Boreal Plain ecozone. Results show greater soil water content in the root zone and potential for recharge into the deeper unsaturated zone during the first year of regeneration. Sites with shallow water table levels (<600 cm) increased more than sites under uncut conditions. Sites with deeper water table levels (>600 cm) responded minimally, if at all, to spring-melt and summer storms suggesting that water exchanges with the atmosphere occurred to and from the unsaturated zone only during the first-year regeneration. Upland groundwater gradients to adjacent pond-peatland complexes persisted at least ten times longer under clear-cut than under uncut conditions. Water table trends recovered to uncut conditions by the second year of regeneration.

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  • Degree
    Master of Science
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