Hydrological responses to channelization and the formation of valley plugs and shoals

Wetlands
By:  and 

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Abstract

Rehabilitation of floodplain systems focuses on restoring interactions between the fluvial system and floodplain, however, there is a paucity of information on the effects of valley plugs and shoals on floodplain hydrological processes. We investigated hydrologic regimes in floodplains at three valley plug sites, two shoal sites, and three unchannelized sites. Valley plug sites had altered surface and sub-surface hydrology relative to unchannelized sites, while only sub-surface hydrology was affected at shoal sites. Some of the changes were unexpected, such as reduced flood duration and flood depth in floodplains associated with valley plugs. Our results emphasize the variability associated with hydrologic processes around valley plugs and our rudimentary understanding of the effects associated with these geomorphic features. Water table levels were lower at valley plug sites compared to unchannelized sites, however, valley plug sites had a greater proportion of days when water table inundation was above mean root collar depth than both shoal and unchannelized sites as a result of lower root collar depths and higher deposition rates. This study has provided evidence that valley plugs can affect both surface and sub-surface hydrology in different ways than previously thought and illustrates the variability in hydrological responses to valley plug formation.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Hydrological responses to channelization and the formation of valley plugs and shoals
Series title Wetlands
DOI 10.1007/s13157-017-0886-4
Volume 37
Issue 3
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Coop Res Unit Atlanta
Description 11 p.
First page 513
Last page 523