Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2019KS110B

Evaluation of the geomorphological adjustment of a meandering, alluvial river subject to streambank stabilization structures

Institute: Kansas
Year Established: 2019 Start Date: 2019-06-18 End Date: 2020-06-17
Total Federal Funds: $14,985 Total Non-Federal Funds: $29,980

Principal Investigators: Tricia Moore

Abstract: Sedimentation of reservoirs is a major threat to water supply in Kansas and worldwide (ICOLD, 2009; KWO, 2014); therefore, understanding the positive and negative impacts of streambank stabilization systems and their intended effect on reducing reservoir sedimentation rates is vital. The intent of the proposed research is to address the question: do streambank stabilization projects using rock structures (e.g. bendway weirs, vanes) push the ‘erosion problem’ upstream or downstream? The primary objective of this study is to measure the short term, reach-scale impacts of stabilization projects on a meandering, alluvial river of Kansas that outlets into a federally owned reservoir. This project will provide the preliminary data needed to test the hypotheses that streambank stabilization projects utilizing rock (1) decrease sediment input from streambank erosion at the stabilized site but (2) increase sediment transport capacity along the site, resulting in localized bed scour, upstream channel degradation, and accelerated streambank erosion upstream of the project, and (3) induce aggradation and accelerated streambank erosion downstream of the stabilized streambank. The secondary objective of this study is to improve the scientific understanding of streambank erosion processes by characterizing an array of shear strength and stress properties of streambank materials.