2013 Annual Report
Objective 2: Improve the understanding and quantification of sediment transport in channels. (2.2.1) 2a: Quantify the effects of mixed particle-sizes on sediment transport. 2b: Quantify sediment transport and bed evolution under unsteady flow conditions. 2c: Quantify sediment transport capacity downstream of headcuts.
Objective 3: Quantify and predict erosion and morphologic adjustment of channels from pore to river scales. (2.1.1, 2.2.1). 3a: Quantify and predict the location, magnitude, processes, and controls of ephemeral gully erosion. 3b: Quantify and predict the role of morphological channel adjustment and riparian zone management on resulting watershed sediment load.
Objective 4: Integrate research and technology to quantify management and climate effects on watershed physical processes. (2.1.1, 2.2.1, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3). 4a: Quantify impacts of climatic variability and land management on sediment and water yield under current and future climate scenarios. 4b: Quantify watershed-scale rates of erosion and related management effects using integrated sedimentation records in receiving waters. 4c: Develop a GIS-based erosion prediction management system that facilitates database acquisition and input file development, and supports multiple scales of focus, including: watersheds, farm fields, and streams.
Towards improving the understanding and quantification of sediment transport in channels, experiments on the transport of sand over immobile gravel are continuing with new emphasis on more detailed collection of velocity data and the nature of the transition to a fully sand covered bed. Experiments on the erosion of sand from a gravel bed are in progress. Preliminary data indicate that sand may be eroded more deeply from a gravel substrate than prior work has indicated. Laboratory equipment for rapid scanning of the substrate and techniques to characterize sand beds with dune forms have been developed as the first phase of the conduction of unsteady flow experiments with sand transport.
To quantify and predict erosion and morphologic adjustment of channels from pore to river scales, improvements of channel reach bed and bank erosion models have continued with the addition of multiple dimensional capability and improved bed material sorting algorithms to channel stability simulations. Improvements have been made on the ability to assess and simulate the location and processes associated with ephemeral gullies on agricultural fields. Towards the integration of research and technology to quantify management and climate effects on watershed physical processes, development of the gully routine on field and watershed simulation models has continued. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) are being used to develop prediction management systems to work on watersheds, fields, and streams. Analyses are under way on the 30-year rainfall record from Goodwin Creek. A novel technique to use cesium and lead to arrive at sedimentation rates in the late twentieth century was developed and applied. Three new edge-of-field stations have been added to expand the range of spatial scales represented in the runoff and sediment datasets. New experiments have been initiated on the dynamics of soil piping in a pasture collocated with one of the new edge-of-field sites. In addition, tests are being conducted using real-time in-situ grain-size analysis technology to investigate the dynamics of suspended sediment transport and flocculation during a runoff event. New quality control protocols have been established for the Goodwin Creek Experimental Watershed. Historic datasets have been revised subject to rigorous quality control standards in preparation for a publishable final historical dataset.
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