2016 NGWA Groundwater Summit

Spatial Quantification of Groundwater/Surface-Water Interaction Using the Flir Infrared Camera

Monday, April 25, 2016: 1:40 p.m.
Platte River Room (The Westin Denver Downtown)
Joe Yelderman Jr., PhD, PG , Geosciences, Baylor University
Stephanie Wong , Geosciences, Baylor University

Numerous studies have used temperature to detect the locations of groundwater/surface-water interaction. However, few studies have used temperature to quantify the spatial area of groundwater-influenced temperatures in surface-water bodies. The FLIR infrared camera provides the ability to detect and quantify temperature differences in surface-water bodies caused by groundwater discharge. This study used data from the FLIR camera in conjunction with field measurements of temperature and specific conductance to map the areal influence of spring discharges to Salado Creek in central Texas during several different settings of temperature contrast. The results may provide important information to develop management strategies for protecting the threatened Salado Salamander, Eurycea, chisolmensis which inhabits this groundwater/surface-water interface.  The location and spatial extent of groundwater-dominated zones, mixing zones, and stream-dominated zones were mapped during several temperature contrast settings. Data indicate that the size of the influenced area is affected by relative flow volumes between spring and stream, seasonal temperature differences, geomorphic positions of discharge points, and turbulence in mixing zones.

Joe Yelderman Jr., PhD, PG, Geosciences, Baylor University
Joe Yelderman Jr. is a professor in the Department of Geology at Baylor University. He is currently the director of the Institute for Ecological, Earth, and Environmental Sciences. His specialty areas are hydrogeology and environmental geology. His research interests include springs, groundwater/surface-water interactions, and urban hydrogeology.

Stephanie Wong, Geosciences, Baylor University
Stephanie Wong has a B.S. in environmental science from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario and an M.S. in geology from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in geology with a hydrogeology focus at Baylor University. Her primary interest is water resources and management in developing communities.