Channelization on Turkey Creek and its receiving stream, the South Fork Big Nemaha River, has disturbed the equilibrium of Turkey Creek and has led to channel-stability problems, such as degradation and channel widening, which pose a threat to bridges and land adjacent to the stream. As part of a multiagency study, the U.S. Geological Survey assessed channel stability at two bridge sites on upper and middle portions of Turkey Creek by analyzing streambed-elevation data for gradation changes, comparing recent cross-section surveys and historic accounts, identifying bank-failure blocks, and analyzing tree-ring samples. These results were compared to gradation data and trend results for a U.S. Geological Survey streamflow-gaging station near the mouth of Turkey Creek from a previous study. Examination of data on streambed elevations reveals that degradation has occurred. The streambed elevation declined 0.5 m at the upper site from 1967-97. The streambed elevation declined by 3.2 m at the middle site from 1948-97 and exposed 2 m of the pilings of the Nebraska Highway 8 bridge. Channel widening could not be verified at the two sites from 1967-97, but a historic account indicates widening at the middle site to be two to three times that of the 1949 channel width. Small bank failures were evident at the upper site and a 4-m-wide bank failure occurred at the middle site in 1987 according to tree ring analyses. Examination of streambed-elevation data from a previous study at the lower site reveals a statistically significant aggrading trend from 1958-93. Further examination of these data suggests minor degradation occurred until 1975, followed by aggradation.
Additional publication details
Channel stability of Turkey Creek, Nebraska
Reston, VA, United States
Larger Work Title:
International Water Resources Engineering Conference - Proceedings
Proceedings of the 1998 International Water Resources Engineering Conference. Part 2 (of 2)