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Water 2018, 10(10), 1304;

Baseflow Contribution to Streamflow and Aquatic Habitats Using Physical Habitat Simulations

School of Engineering, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan NSW 2308, Australia
Department of Land and Water Environment Research, Korea Environment Institute, Sejong 30147, Korea
Department of Civil Engineering, Sangji University, Wonju 26339, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 August 2018 / Revised: 13 September 2018 / Accepted: 17 September 2018 / Published: 21 September 2018
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A scientific understanding of the baseflow contribution to streams and watershed processes is critical when dealing with water policy and management issues. However, most previous studies involving physical habitat simulation have been performed without considering the seepage of water from the underground into streams. Motivated by this, herein, we report an investigation of the impact of baseflow using physical habitat simulations for both dominant fish and benthic macroinvertebrate. The study area was located along the reach of the Ungcheon Stream, located 16.50 km downstream and 11.75 km upstream from the Boryeong Dam in the Republic of Korea. For the physical habitat simulation, Zacco platypus and Baetis fuscatus were selected as the target fish and benthic macroinvertebrate, respectively. The HydroGeoSphere (HGS) model (Aquanty Inc., Waterloo, ON, Canada) and the River2D model (Version 0.95a, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada) were used for hydrologic and hydraulic simulations, respectively. The Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model was used for the habitat simulations. Three habitat variables, flow depth, velocity, and substrate, were used. To assess the impact of baseflow, this study performed a physical habitat simulation using each representative discharge, with and without considering baseflow. It was found that the baseflow effects significantly increase the habitat suitability in the study reach. To restore the aquatic habitat, a scenario for modifying dam operations through natural flow patterns is presented using the Building Block Approach (BBA). In the study, the adjusted minimum flow allocation concept was used. It was revealed that the modified dam operations significantly increased the Weighted Usable Area (WUA) by about 48% for both target species. The results indicate that modifying the dam operations through restoration to natural flow regimes but also through inclusion of the baseflow are advantageous to aquatic fish habitats. View Full-Text
Keywords: physical habitat simulation; baseflow; HydroGeoSphere model; Building Block Approach; Weighted Usable Area physical habitat simulation; baseflow; HydroGeoSphere model; Building Block Approach; Weighted Usable Area

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Choi, B.; Kang, H.; Lee, W.H. Baseflow Contribution to Streamflow and Aquatic Habitats Using Physical Habitat Simulations. Water 2018, 10, 1304.

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