Date of Graduation

Summer 2005


Master of Science in Geospatial Sciences


Geography, Geology, and Planning

Committee Chair

Robert Pavlowsky


Historical land clearing is believed to be responsible for present-day channel instability in main stem reaches in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways (ONSR) in south-central Missouri. The nature of instability is related to the delivery of excess amounts of gravel sediment to stream channels and higher rates of lateral bank erosion. These conditions are of concern to resource managers because of the potential damaging effects on recreational facilities and aquatic habitat. The purpose of this study is to develop a geographic information systems (GIS)/remote sensing (RS) based methodology to monitor spatial patterns of gravel deposition and lateral channel migration within the ONSR. Two study reaches, each several kilometers in length, on the Jacks Fork and Current Rivers were selected for evaluation based on their proximity to recreation areas and history of disturbance. Stream channel bank lines, centerlines and gravel bar features were digitized and analyzed in a GIS. A mean center of mass method was used to assess spatial patterns of gravel bar movement, and a meander apex method was used to assess spatial patterns of lateral channel migration within the study reaches. Results reveal that in disturbance reaches, channel migration rates typically occurred at 4 to 30 m/yr and bar centroids shifted 3 to 35 m/yr. While both sites appear to be presently at the end of a channel migration cycle, smaller-scale gravel wave pulses continue to push through the Current River system. Park managers may find it useful to classify channel reaches according to valley location and bar planform in order to better understand and predict the spatial distribution of disturbance zones.


geomorphology, geographic information systems, remote sensing, channel migration, bar deposition

Subject Categories

Geographic Information Sciences | Geomorphology | Remote Sensing


© Derek J. Martin

Open Access