Collection methods, data compilation, and lessons learned from a study of stream geomorphology associated with riparian cattle grazing along the Fever River, University of Wisconsin- Platteville Pioneer Farm, Wisconsin, 2004–11

Open-File Report 2016-1179
Prepared in cooperation with the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Pioneer Farm Program
By:  and 

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Abstract

Stream geomorphic characteristics were monitored along a 0.8-mile reach of the Fever River in the Driftless Area of southwestern Wisconsin from 2004 to 2011 where cattle grazed in paddocks along the riverbank at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Pioneer Farm. The study reach encompassed seven paddocks that covered a total of 30 acres on both sides of the river. Monitoring data included channel crosssection surveys, eroding bank measurements and photograph points, erosion-pin measurements, longitudinal profile surveys, measurements of the volume of soft sediment in the channel, and repeated time-lapse photographs. Characteristics were summarized into subreaches by use of a geographic information system. From 2004 to 2007, baseline monitoring was done to identify geomorphic conditions prior to evaluating the effects of management alternatives for riparian grazing. Subsequent to the full-scale baseline monitoring, additional data were collected from 2007 to 2011. Samples of eroding bank and in-channel soft sediment were collected and analyzed for dry bulk density in 2008 for use in a sediment budget. One of the pastures was excluded from cattle grazing in the fall of 2007; in 2009 channel cross sections, longitudinal profiles, erosion-pin measurements, photographs, and a soft sediment survey were again collected along the full 0.8-mile reach for a comparison to baseline monitoring data. Channel cross sections were surveyed a final time in 2011. Lessons learned from bank monitoring with erosion pins were most numerous and included the need for consistent tracking of each pin and whether there was deposition or erosion, timing of measurements and bank conditions during measurements (frozen, postflood), and awareness of pins loosening in place. Repeated freezing and thawing of banks and consequential mass wasting and jointing enhance fluvial erosion. Monitoring equipment in the paddocks was kept flush to the ground or located high on posts to avoid injuring the cattle.

Suggested Citation

Peppler, M.C., and Fitzpatrick, F.A., 2018, Collection methods, data compilation, and lessons learned from a study of stream geomorphology associated with riparian cattle grazing along the Fever River, University of Wisconsin- Platteville Pioneer Farm, Wisconsin, 2004–11: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016–1179, 23 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161179.

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Geomorphic Monitoring Methods
  • Geomorphic Data Descriptions and Uses
  • Lessons Learned
  • Summary
  • References Cited
  • Appendixes

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Collection methods, data compilation, and lessons learned from a study of stream geomorphology associated with riparian cattle grazing along the Fever River, University of Wisconsin- Platteville Pioneer Farm, Wisconsin, 2004–11
Series title Open-File Report
Series number 2016-1179
DOI 10.3133/ofr20161179
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Wisconsin Water Science Center
Description Report: viii, 21 p.; Appendixes 1-9; Readme
Country United States
State Wisconsin
Other Geospatial Fever River, University of Wisconsin-Platteville Pioneer Agricultural Stewardship Farm
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y