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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DEVELOPMENT OF ALTERNATIVE PRACTICES FOR IMPROVED WATERSHED MANAGEMENT Title: Stream Bank Erosion Rates in Two Watersheds of the Central Claypan Region

item Willett, Cammy -
item Lerch, Robert
item Peacher, R -
item Schultz, R -

Submitted to: Soil and Water Conservation Society
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 19, 2010
Publication Date: July 18, 2010
Citation: Willett, C.D., Lerch, R.N., Peacher, R., Schultz, R.C. 2010. Stream Bank Erosion Rates in Two Watersheds of the Central Claypan Region [abstract]. Soil and Water Conservation Society, July 18-21, 2010, St. Louis, Missouri. Available:

Technical Abstract: Sedimentation of surface waters in the United States is a significant environmental concern. The objective of this research was to determine the effect of stream order, adjacent land use, and season on stream bank erosion rates. Study sites were established in 2007 and 2008 within Crooked and Otter Creek watersheds, two claypan watersheds located in northeast Missouri. A factorial experimental design was implemented with four land uses (cropped, forest, pasture, and riparian forest) and three stream orders (1st, 2nd, 3rd). Each treatment was replicated three times for each stream order. Erosion pins were installed based on bank height and length at each site to measure bank erosion/deposition rates. The effect of different seasons was assessed by measuring the length of the exposed pins three times per year. Statistical analyses were performed to determine the effect of stream order, land use, and season on erosion rates. Using data from the National Hydrography Dataset, measured bank erosion rates were combined with the bank length for each stream order to estimate the sediment contribution from stream banks at the watershed scale. Overland erosion rates were also estimated. The results showed that the seasonal effect was highly significant, with much greater erosion rates in the winter compared to other seasons. Land use and stream order did not significantly affected bank erosion rates. Based on estimates of the total mass of eroded stream banks and overland erosion, bank erosion accounted for about 11% of the total eroded sediment annually in these two watersheds.

Last Modified: 11/28/2015
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