Geodiversity and River Health: An approach to analysis of Hydrological Stress in the Huasco catchment, a semi-desert, Chile

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dc.contributor.advisor Brierley, G en Vidal Cruz, Cecilia en 2012-08-15T04:36:54Z en 2012 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description Full text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract Flow manipulation has been highlighted as the primary single cause of alteration to river condition. In combination with climate change, this brings about hydrological stress. Flow modification simplifies the natural flow variability of rivers. This constrains the interaction between different river flows with river morphology, reducing geomorphic heterogeneity and thus triggering aquatic habitat detriment. This research claims that understanding of the impacts of hydro –stressors such as land use changes and water abstractions upon river geodiversity is the foundation to develop appropriate flow management strategies that enables us to cope with future scenarios of water scarcity. The inherent complexity of evaluating these pressures requires a holistic approach to analysis of river ecosystem integrity that builds upon a hydro-geomorphic approach. An approach to analysis of hydrological stress is trialled through appraisal of water dependent aquatic ecosystems located at the bottom of the Atacama Desert, in the Huasco catchment, Chile. This exploratory study demonstrates how physical attributes shape river geo-diversity, identifying how geomorphic structure is altered so that flow interacts with ecosystems in a different way as a result of human modification. The application of this procedure reflects site-specific attributes of the basin, its values and its pressures. The major contribution of this work is to develop a scientifically-based river condition assessment for the Huasco River identifying hydrologic pressures for different river styles with a catchment-scale analysis. Results from this study show that the physical template of rivers across the Huasco catchment has been severely modified. An increasing deficit in river flows, as a result of a combination of flow manipulation, water abstractions, and climate change, is creating a simplification of geomorphic complexity. From this, a set of geo-indicators for hydrological stress assessment is developed. This research sets up the foundation for future work in the development of a framework that could be applied to other places, following a geographic discourse approach- for hydrological stress assessment. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland. en
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dc.rights.uri en
dc.title Geodiversity and River Health: An approach to analysis of Hydrological Stress in the Huasco catchment, a semi-desert, Chile en
dc.type Thesis en The University of Auckland en Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
pubs.elements-id 360213 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2012-08-15 en

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