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Persistence of effects of high sediment loading in a salmon-bearing river, northern California

Special Paper of the Geological Society of America

By:
,
DOI: 10.1130/2009.2451(03)

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Abstract

Regional high-magnitude rainstorms have produced several large floods in north coastal California during the last century, which resulted in extensive massmovement activity and channel aggradation. Channel monitoring in Redwood Creek, through the use of cross-sectional surveys, thalweg profi les, and pebble counts, has documented the persistence and routing of channel-stored sediment following these large floods in the 1960s and 1970s. Channel response varied on the basis of timing of peak aggradation. Channel-stored sediment was evacuated rapidly from the upstream third of the Redwood Creek channel, and the channel bed stabilized by 1985 as the bed coarsened. Currently only narrow remnants of flood deposits remain and are well vegetated. In the downstream reach, channel aggradation peaked in the 1990s, and the channel is still incising. Channel-bed elevations throughout the watershed showed an approximate exponential decrease with time, but decay rates were highest in areas with the thickest flood deposits. Pool frequencies and depths generally increased from 1977 to 1995, as did median residual water depths, but a 10 yr flood in 1997 resulted in a moderate reversal of this trend. Channel aggradation generated during 25 yr return interval floods has persisted in Redwood Creek for more than 30 yr and has impacted many life cycles of salmon. Watershed restoration work is currently focused on correcting erosion problems on hillslopes to reduce future sediment supply to Redwood Creek instead of attempting in-channel manipulations. ?? 2009 Geological Society of America.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Persistence of effects of high sediment loading in a salmon-bearing river, northern California
Series title:
Special Paper of the Geological Society of America
DOI:
10.1130/2009.2451(03)
Issue:
451
Year Published:
2009
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Special Paper of the Geological Society of America
First page:
43
Last page:
55
Number of Pages:
13