Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): M. M. Foley; J. R. Bellmore; J. E. O'Connor; J. J. Duda; A. E. East; G. E. Grant; C. W. Anderson; J. A. Bountry; M. J. Collins; P. J. Connolly; L. S. Craig; J. E. Evans; S. L. Greene; F. J. Magilligan; C. S. Magirl; J. J. Major; G. R. Pess; T. J. Randle; P. B. Shafroth; C. E. Torgersen; D. Tullos; A. C. Wilcox
    Date: 2017
    Source: Water Resources Research. 53(7): 5229-5246.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (2.0 MB)


    Dam removal is widely used as an approach for river restoration in the United States. The increase in dam removals—particularly large dams—and associated dam-removal studies over the last few decades motivated a working group at the USGS John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis to review and synthesize available studies of dam removals and their findings. Based on dam removals thus far, some general conclusions have emerged: (1) physical responses are typically fast, with the rate of sediment erosion largely dependent on sediment characteristics and dam-removal strategy; (2) ecological responses to dam removal differ among the affected upstream, downstream, and reservoir reaches; (3) dam removal tends to quickly reestablish connectivity, restoring the movement of material and organisms between upstream and downstream river reaches; (4) geographic context, river history, and land use significantly influence river restoration trajectories and recovery potential because they control broader physical and ecological processes and conditions; and (5) quantitative modeling capability is improving, particularly for physical and broad-scale ecological effects, and gives managers information needed to understand and predict long-term effects of dam removal on riverine ecosystems. Although these studies collectively enhance our understanding of how riverine ecosystems respond to dam removal, knowledge gaps remain because most studies have been short (< 5 years) and do not adequately represent the diversity of dam types, watershed conditions, and dam-removal methods in the U.S.

    Publication Notes

    • Visit PNW's Publication Request Page to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Foley, M. M.; Bellmore, J. Ryan; O'Connor, J. E.; Duda, J. J.; East, A. E.; Grant, Gordon E.; Anderson, C. W.; Bountry, J. A.; Collins, M. J.; Connolly, P. J.; Craig, L. S.; Evans, J. E.; Greene, S. L.; Magilligan, F. J.; Magirl, C. S.; Major, J. J.; Pess, G. R.; Randle, T. J.; Shafroth, P. B.; Torgersen, C. E.; Tullos, D.; Wilcox, A. C. 2017. Dam removal: Listening in. Water Resources Research. 53(7): 5229-5246.


    Google Scholar


    Dam removal, ecosystem, river restoration.

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page