Blue River Research: Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration (IHA) of Selected Streams on the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer, South Central Oklahoma

May 15, 2008 | Research

This research, originally published in 2008, focused on documenting the streamflow in certain streams in the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer, of which the Blue River is a part.

The specific objectives of this study were twofold: “to characterize the natural flow regime of Arbuckle streams and, based on the characterization of the natural flow regime, to identify specific parameters that would be critical to assess the ecological impacts of potential flow regime alteration due to increased water production from the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer.”

Some excerpts from the study:

In general, we found that Arbuckle streams had stable base flows that flowed even in the most extreme drought cycles. The Blue River gage at Blue, OK was the only stream gage that had zero-flow conditions, but these were only during the most extreme droughts (>10 year recurrence interval).

The Blue River is the largest stream originating in the Arbuckles. Its headwaters begin in the Hunton Anticline and are fed by springs north of Connerville, Oklahoma. It flows 134 miles south to its confluence with the Red River. It is one of only 42 free-flowing medium sized rivers in the U.S. and the only such river in Oklahoma (Benke 1990).

The [Blue River] Arbuckle headwaters and medium-sized streams provide habitat for numerous spring-dependent species including the disjunct least darter, redspot chub and, southern redbelly dace.

You can read the full paper here:

Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration (IHA) of Selected Streams on the Arbuckle-Simpson Aquifer, South Central Oklahoma

By: Ellen C. Tejan

The Nature Conservancy
2727 E. 21st Street, Suite 102
Tulsa, Oklahoma, 74114

Published 15 May 2008

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