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    Author(s): Marwan A. Hassan; Michael Church; Thomas E. Lisle; Francesco Brardinoni; Lee Benda; Gordon E. Grant
    Date: 2005
    Source: Journal of the American Water Resources Association. Vol. 41(4): 853-876
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    PDF: Download Publication  (2.91 MB)


    This paper reviews sediment transport and channel morphology in small, forested streams in the Pacific Northwest region of North America to assess current knowledge of channel stability and morphology relevant to riparian management practices around small streams. Small channels are defined as ones in which morphology and hydraulics may be significantly influenced by individual clasts or wood materials in the channel. Such channels are headwater channels in close proximity to sediment sources, so they reflect a mix of hillslope and channel processes. Sediment inputs are derived directly from adjacent hillslopes and from the channel banks. Morphologically significant sediments move mainly as bed load, mainly at low intensity, and there is no standard method for measurement. The larger elastic and woody elements in the channel form persistent structures that trap significant volumes of sediment, reducing sediment transport in the short term and substantially increasing channel stability. The presence of such structures makes modeling of sediment flux in these channels - a potential substitute for measurement - difficult. Channel morphology is discussed, with some emphasis on wood related features. The problem of classifying small channels is reviewed, and it is recognized that useful classifications are purpose oriented. Reach scale and channel unit scale morphologies are categorized. A "disturbance cascade" is introduced to focus attention on sediment transfers through the slope channel system and to identify management practices that affect sediment dynamics and consequent channel morphology. Gaps in knowledge, errors, and uncertainties have been identified for future research.

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Hassan, Marwan A.; Church, Michael; Lisle, Thomas E.; Brardinoni, Francesco; Benda, Lee; Grant, Gordon E. 2005. Sediment transport and channel morphology of small, forested streams. Journal of the American Water Resources Association. Vol. 41(4): 853-876


    streams, sediment transport, fluvial processes, geomorphology

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