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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Stream Channel Restoration in the Illinois River and Eucha/Spavinaw Watersheds to Protect Water Supply Reservoirs

Location: Watershed Physical Processes Research Unit

2013 Annual Report


1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Develop a prioritization scheme to evaluate sites for potential future restoration in the Eucha/Spavinaw and Illinois River Watersheds in northeastern Oklahoma based on current state of streambed degradation, likelihood of long-term bank stability, ecosystem services preserved or created, and potential sediment load reduction.


1b.Approach (from AD-416):
This work will be conducted jointly with USDA-ARS and Oklahoma State University. Site-specific predictions of future streambank erosion and channel migration will be otained from simulations with the CONCEPTS model. Estimates streambank instability along other reaches will be extrapolated from the modeling results by relating the numerical results to indices of relative channel stability as determined through rapid geomorphic assessments (RGAs) covering approximately 150 miles of river chananels. Detailed data collection to quantify the resistance of the channel boundaries to hydraulic and geotechnical forces will be conducted at 48 sites. These data will be used to populate the CONCEPTS model. Sites for detailed data collection and CONCEPTS modeling will be selected in concert with cooperative researchers at Oklahoma State University and USDA-ARS. Another aspect of the project will be the application of the RVR Meander model to selected streams within the Illinois River and Spavinaw Creek watersheds, Oklahoma, in order to assess their susceptibility to streambank erosion and lateral migration. The outcome will assist in the prioritization and design guidance of streambank stabilization measures, and the selection of sites to be modeled with the CONCEPTS model.


3.Progress Report:

This is the final report. No activities were conducted in FY 13 as the work was completed in FY 12.

In collaboration with Oklahoma State University (OSU) and the University of Illinois (UI) data was collected to build models of selected reaches of different stream order in the Illinois River and Spavinaw Creek watersheds for the Conservational Channel Evolution and Pollutant Transport System (CONCEPTS) and River Meander (RVM) Software/CONCEPTS computer models. The staff and students of OSU were trained on using jet testers and borehole shear testers to characterize the erosion resistance and shear strength of bank soils. Two trips were made to the watersheds to assist OSU in collecting and processing the data needed to run CONCEPTS and River Meander Software/CONCEPTS. A workshop was conducted at OSU to train staff and students on the use of the CONCEPTS model, and assistance was provided on setting up and running the CONCEPTS model.

The overall impact of the accomplishments is that the Oklahoma Conservation Commission has new information and computer modeling tools on which to make decisions concerning the prioritization of streambank protection measures by stream order to stabilize rapidly eroding streambanks.


Last Modified: 4/21/2014
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