National Research Program


Applications of Fluid and Sediment Mechanics to Basin and Regional Scale Hydrologic and Geomorphic Problems

Stream systems function as integrated units from the zero-order basins at their heads to their terminations at the sea. Interior adjustments to changes in their headwaters or along their lengths occur in a variety of ways, some of which leave sedimentary deposits that provide important information with regard to the sensitivity of the systems to disturbances of various magnitudes and with respect to the nature of past disturbances. The former type of information is crucial to reliable interpretation of paleoflood deposits and the latter knowledge is essential for testing hydrologic predictions derived from climate models. In order to interpret fluvial deposits properly, however, an extremely accurate knowledge of stream system mechanics is required. The long-term goal of this project is to develop precise, process-based algorithms for flow, sediment transport, stream channel adjustment, erosion, and deposition in characteristic segments of a wide variety of fluvial systems. These algorithms then can be used to assess local environmental problems along particular types of stream segments, or they can be coupled with each other and with analogous algorithms for hill slope processes in order to produce models for erosion, sediment transport, and deposition on a regional scale and, thereby, provide a sound, process-based connection between regional hydrology and the salient characteristics of the sedimentary deposits in a wide variety of stream systems.

REPORTS PUBLISHED 2002-2011

Griffin, E.R., Smith, J.D., Friedman, J.M., and Vincent, K.R., 2010, Progression of streambank erosion during a large flood, Rio Puerco Arroyo, New Mexico: Proceedings of the 4th Federal Interagency Hydrologic Modeling Conference and of the 9th Federal Interagency Sedimentation Conference, 12 p. (on-line paper in pdf format, 942 KB).

Kean, J.W., and Smith, J.D., 2010, Calculation of stage-discharge relations for gravel bedded channels, Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 115, F03020, doi:10.1029/2009JF001398 (on-line abstract or on-line article in pdf format, 1094 KB)

Kean, J.W. , Kuhnle, R.A. , Smith, J.D. , Alonso, C.V. , Langendoen, E.J., 2009, Test of a method to calculate near-bank velocity and boundary shear stress: Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, v. 135, no. 7, p. 588-601. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Vincent, K.R., Friedman, J.M., and Griffin, E.R., 2009, Erosional consequence of saltcedar control: Environmental Management, v. 44, no. 2, p.  218-227. doi:10.1007/s00267-009-9314-8 (on-line abstract or on-line article in pdf format, 486 KB, published as a U. S. Government work by SpringerLink)

Vincent, K.R., and Andrews, E.D., 2008, Depositional settings of sand beaches along whitewater rivers: River Research and Applications, v. 24, p. 771-788. DOI: 10.1002/rra.1079. (on-line abstract or on-line article in pdf format, 394 KB, pubhished by John Wiley as a U. S. Government work in the public domain)

Andrews, E.D. and Vincent, K.R., 2007, Sand deposition in shoreline eddies along five Wild and Scenic Rivers, Idaho. River Research and Applications, v. 23, no. 1, p. 7-20. (on-line abstract or on-line article in pdf format, 603 KB - published on-line in 2006 as a U.S. Governement work in the public domain)

Smith, J.D., 2007, Beaver, willow shrubs and floods, in Johnson, E.A. and Miyanishi, K., eds., Plant Disturbance Ecology: The Process and the Response, Elsevier Academic Press, p. 603-672.

Vincent, K.R., Church, S.E., and Wirt, L., 2007, Geomorphology of Cement Creek, in Church, S.E., von Geurard, P., and Finger, S.E., eds., Integrated investigations of environmental effects of historical mining in the Animas River watershed, San Juan County, Colorado, U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1651, chapt. E16.

Vincent, K.R., and Elliott, J.G., 2007, Response of the Upper Animas River dwonstream of Eureka, Colorado, to discharge of ore-mill tailings, in Church, S.E., von Geurard, P., and Finger, S.E., eds., Integrated investigations of environmental effects of historical mining in the Animas River watershed, San Juan County, Colorado, U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1651, chapt. E22.

Wirt, L., Vincent, K.R., Verplanck, P.L., Yager, D.B., Church, S.E., and Fey, D.L., 2007, Geochemical processes controlling the formation of ferricrete, in Church, S.E., von Geurard, P., and Finger, S.E., eds., Integrated investigations of environmental effects of historical mining in the Animas River watershed, San Juan County, Colorado, U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1651, chapt. E17.

Kean, J.W., and Smith J.D., 2006, Form drag in rivers due to small-scale natural topographic features, 1. Regular sequences: Journal of Geophysical Research, 111, F04009, doi:10.1029/2006JF000467. (on-line abstract or on-line journal article in pdf format, 413 KB published by American Geophysical Union but not subject to U.S. copyright)

Kean, J.W., and Smith, J.D., 2006, Form drag in rivers due to small-scale natural topographic features, 2. Irregular sequences: Journal of Geophysical Research, 111, F04010, doi:10.1029/2006JF000490. (on-line abstract or on-line journal article in pdf format, 650 KB published by American Geophysical Union but not subject to U.S. copyright)

Kimball, B.A., Nordstrom, D.K., Runkel, R.L., Vincent, K.R., and Verplanck, P.L., 2006, Questa baseline and pre-mining ground-water quality investigation. 23. Quantification of solute mass loading for Red River, New Mexico : U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigation Report, 2006-5004, 44 p. (on-line abstract or on-line report in pdf format, 1.7MB)

Light, H.M., Vincent, K.R., Darst, M.R., and Price, F.D., 2006, Water-level decline in the Apalachicola River, Florida, from 1954 to 2004, and effects on floodplain habitats: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5173, 83 p., plus CD. (on line report, appendices, and data)

Plumlee, G.P., Ludington, S., Vincent., K.R., Verplank, P.L., Caine, J.S., and Livo, K.E., 2006, Questa baseline and pre-mining ground-water quality investigation, 8. A photographic record of chemical weathering, erosional processes, and potential debris-flow hazards in scar areas developed on hydrothermally altered rocks: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2006-1205.

Vincent, K.R., 2006, Questa baseline and pre-mining ground-water quality investigation 17. Geomorphology of the Red River Valley, Taos County, New Mexico, with emphasis on the shallow alluvial aquifer: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5156.

Friedman, J.M., Auble, G.T., Shafroth, P.B., Scott, M.L., Merigliano, M.F., Freehling, M.D., Griffin, E.R., 2005, Dominance of non-native riparian trees in western USA: Biological Invasions, v. 7, no.4, p. 747-751. doi:10.1007/s10530-004-5849-z (on-line abstract of journal article)

Friedman, J.M., Vincent, K.R., and Shafroth, P.B., 2005, Dating floodplain sediments using tree-ring response to burial: Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, v. 30, no. 9, p. 1,077-1,091. doi:10.1002/esp.1263 (on-line abstract of journal article)

Griffin, E.R., Kean, J.W., Vincent, K.R., Smith, J.D., and Friedman, J.M., 2005, Modeling effects of bank friction and woody bank vegetation on channel flow and boundary shear stress in the Rio Puerco, New Mexico: Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 110, no, F4, doi:10.1029/2005JF000322. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Kean, J.W., and Smith, J.D., 2005, Generation and verification of theoretical rating curves in the Whitewater River basin, Kansas: Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 110, no. F4, doi:10.1029/2004JF000250. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Moody, J.A., Smith, J.D., Ragan, B.W., 2005, Critical shear stress for erosion of cohesive soils subjected to temperatures typical of wildfires: Journal of Geophysical Research, v. 110, no. F1. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Pelletier, J.D., Mayer, L., Pearthree, P.A., House, P.K., Demsey, K.A., Klawson, J.E., and Vincent, K.R., 2005, An integrated approach to flood hazard assessment on alluvial fans using numerical modeling, field mapping, and remote sensing: GSA Bulletin, v. 117, no. 9/10, 1167-1180. doi:10.1130/B255440.1. (on-line abstract of journal article)

Griffin, E.R., and Smith, J.D., 2004, Floodplain stabilization by woody riparian vegetation during an extreme flood, in Bennett, S., and Simon, A., eds., Riparian Vegetation and Fluvial Geomorphology: American Geophysical Union Water Science and Application Series, v. 8, p. 221-236.

Kean, J.W., and Smith, J.D., 2004, Flow and boundary shear stress in channels with woody bank vegetation, in Bennett, S., and Simon, A., eds., Riparian Vegetation and Fluvial Geomorphology: American Geophysical Union Water Science and Application Series, v. 8, p. 237-252.

Smith, J.D., 2004, The role of riparian shrubs in preventing floodplain unraveling along the Clark Fork of the Columbia River in the Deer Lodge Valley, Montana, in Bennett, S., and Simon, A., eds., Riparian Vegetation and Fluvial Geomorphology: American Geophysical Union Water Science and Application Series, v. 8, p. 71-85.

Vincent, K.R., House, P.K., Pearthree, P.A., and Demsey, K.A., 2004, Inundation mapping and hydraulic reconstructions of an extreme alluvial fan flood, Wild Burro Wash, Pima County, southern Arizona: Arizona Geological Survey Open-File Report 04-04, 51 p.

Benson, L., Cordell, L., Vincent, K., Taylor, H., Stein, J., Farmer, G.L., and Futa, K., 2003, Ancient maize from Chacoan great houses: Where was it grown: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, v. 100, no. 22, pgs. 13111-13225. (on-line abstract)

Griffin, E.R., and Smith, J.D., 2002, State of flood plain vegetation within the meander belt of the Clark Fork of the Columbia River, Deer Lodge Valley, Montana: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 02-4109, 17 p.

Moody J.A., and Smith, J.D., 2002, Field measurements of Reynolds Stress near a riverbank: Proceedings EWRI and IAHR Hydraulic Measurement and Experimental Methods Conference, Estes Park, Colo., 29-31, July 2002 (CD).

Smith, J.D., and Griffin, E.R. , 2002, Quantitative analysis of catastrophic geomorphic transformation from a narrow sinuous to a broad straight creek: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 02-4065.

Smith, J.D., and Griffin, E.R. , 2002, Relation between geomorphic stability and the density of large shrubs on the flood plain of the Clark Fork of the Columbia River in the Deer Lodge Valley, Montana: U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 02-4070, 25 p.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THIS PROJECT, CONTACT:
J. Dungan Smith
U.S. Geological Survey, 3215 Marine St., Boulder, CO 80303
Internet: jdsmith@usgs.gov
Telephone: 303-541-3004

For information on additional projects in the National Research Program,see Indexes to NRP projects and bibliographies.

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