State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2008TN53B
Title: A Survey of Bank Erosion in Beaver Creek, Knox County, Tennessee: Correlations of Channel Stability with Force and Resistance Variables
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2008
End Date: 2/28/2009
Congressional District: TN Second
Focus Categories: Sediments, Surface Water, Ecology
Keywords: Bank Erosion, Channel Stability, TMDL's, Siltation, Urbanization, Stream Restoration, Water Quality
Principal Investigators: He, Qiang ; Schwartz, John S.
Federal Funds: $ 25,000
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 50,123
Abstract: Many rivers and streams in our nation have been identified on the 303(d) list as impaired or threatened as a result of siltation and habitat alteration, and commonly occurring in urbanizing watersheds. Urbanization creates more impervious surfaces that alter the hydrologic regime causing increased stormflow peaks and duration that can lead to excessive stream bank erosion in some locations. Beaver Creek in Knox County, Tennessee has been identified on the state 303(d) list and a sediment TMDL has been proposed by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC). In addition, state 319 funds have been awarded to the Beaver Creek Task Force (BCTF) to address the siltation problems. A sediment model for the Beaver Creek watershed completed by the University of Tennessee in 2005, in which the model found bank erosion to significantly contribute to stream sediment loads. However, the model output was never evaluated with a field study to confirm its findings. Objectives of this study are to survey the extent of bank erosion in the Beaver Creek watershed to evaluate the extent of bank erosion problem. The Rapid Geomorphic Assessment (RGA) developed by the USDA National Sedimentation Laboratory will be used to quantify channel stability and bank erosion potential. Other variables will be measured as "force" surrogates (stream power, bankull discharge), and "resistance" surrogates (soil cohesive strength and vegetation characteristics). These variables will be statistically correlated with RGA scores. Study results will provide the BCTF with useful information on prioritization of proposed bank stability projects. Educational opportunities from the research include support and training of a graduate student.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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