Date of Graduation

Summer 2015

Degree

Master of Natural and Applied Science in Geography, Geology, and Planning

Department

Geography, Geology and Planning

Committee Chair

Robert Pavlowsky

Keywords

stream bank erosion, sediment transport, geographic information system, fluvial geomorphology

Subject Categories

Geology | Geomorphology | Sedimentology

Abstract

Bank erosion can be a significant source of in-stream sediment that negatively affects water quality and aquatic habitat. However, assessments of the role that eroding banks play in suspended and bed sediment supply are rarely available to managers. The purpose of this study was to quantify bank erosion rates for a 7 km conservation easement the James River in southwest Missouri to evaluate the annual contributions of bank sediment to the channel. The objectives were to: (1) monitor an eroding 260 m bank to better understand short-term, reach scale bank erosion rates; (2) determine historical rates of bank erosion for the entire riparian easement using aerial photographs from 1952, 1997, and 2008; and (3) determine the contribution of bank erosion to annual river sediment loads and in-channel gravel storage. The erosion rates of fine sediment from historical aerial photograph analysis averaged 210 Mg/yr/km. Bank erosion contributions to suspended sediment loads in the James River ranged from 16% to 50%. Bank erosion along the James River is often limited by bedrock outcrops which can protect banks, increase channel stability, and reduce sediment supply. However, flow disturbance zones at channel bends along bedrock bluffs can enhance bar formation locally which can force lateral channel shifting and increased bank erosion rates.

Copyright

© Ezekiel Allen Kuehn

Open Access

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