The purpose of this 5-year study is to (1) evaluate the sediment transport, streamflow characteristics, and stream-channel morphology, (2) relate the above to land-use practices; and (3) evaluate the effect that changes in land-use practices will have on Pheasant Branch basin near Middleton, Wis. This report presents findings of sediment transport, streamflow characteristics, and stream-channel morphology from the first year of the study and documents historical erosion. The study is being conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the city of Middleton and the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey. Pheasant Branch, a tributary to Lake Mendota, drains 23.1 square miles of glacial drift. Channel erosion is severe within Middleton, requiring extensive use of erosion-control structures. Occasionally, channel dredging near the mouth and into Lake Mendota is required for boating. Comparison of stream-channel surveys of 1971 and 1977 shows the lowest part of the channel lowered 3 to 4 feet at some sites in the urban reach from U.S. Highway 12 downstream to Century Avenue. Downstream from Century Avenue, channel width increased from about 35 to 48 feet and channel cross-section area increased about 86 percent. A survey of Pheasant Branch in 1971 provided data for quantification of stream-channel changes since that time. Six erosion-control structures previously installed appear to have had some benefit in controlling head cutting in the channel. (USGS).
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Channel erosion and sediment transport in Pheasant Branch basin near Middleton, Wisconsin; a preliminary report