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Seasonal and decadal-scale channel evolution on the dammed Elwha River, Washington

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Abstract

To complement ongoing field studies of channel morphology, we evaluate decadal-scale evolution of the dammed lower Elwha River by using historical aerial photographs. Here, we revise an analysis published by Draut et al. (2008), which covered the interval 1939–2006, to include data collected after a major flood on December 3, 2007. That flood, which resulted from substantial rainfall on snow in the upper watershed, had instantaneous peak discharge of 1,016 m3/s (35,900 ft3/s), the second-highest recorded peak on the Elwha River since records began in 1898 and the largest since dam construction. A log-Pearson Type III flood-frequency analysis indicates that this flood would have a return interval of ~30 years (annual exceedence probability of ~0.03; C.S. Magirl, unpublished data). Observing channel change on the Elwha River from that event allows a more thorough characterization of the dammed channel’s response to flow over seasonal as well as annual and decadal time scales.

Study Area

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Seasonal and decadal-scale channel evolution on the dammed Elwha River, Washington
Year Published 2010
Language English
Publisher Joint Federal Interagency Conference
Contributing office(s) Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
Description 12 p.
Larger Work Type Conference Paper
Larger Work Title Proceedings of the Joint Federal Interagency Conference 2010 : Hydrology and sedimentation for a changing future : existing and emerging issues
Conference Title Joint Federal Interagency Conference on Sedimentation and Hydrologic Modeling
Conference Location Las Vegas, Nevada
Conference Date June 27-July 1, 2010
Country United States
State Washington
Other Geospatial Elwa River
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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