MODELING SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL VARIATION IN SEDIMENT BALANCE IN THE SANTA CLARA RIVER BASIN, CALIFORNIA
As river restoration shifts from reach level projects to more holistic, watershed scale efforts, an understanding of the spatial and temporal variation in the balance between sediment supply and transport capacity is crucial, as it creates the physical template which underpins river ecosystems. To understand this variation in sediment balance, we developed a spatially explicit sediment routing and balance model that incorporates the storage of sediment in, and recruitment from floodplains. Simulations highlight how sediment balance varies throughout rivers impacted by natural and anthropogenic disturbance. We ran the model in the Santa Clara River watershed of Southern California, where important riverine habitat is impacted by dams and agricultural land use, using a combination of field and remote sensing data for calibration. Six study reaches undergoing known forms of geomorphic change were compared to model results. We found that simulated sediment balance was correlated with floodplain-channel sediment exchange and resulting morphological change within study reaches. The information provided by the model can contextualize physical and ecological restoration efforts within the basin by predicting how upstream impacts may propagate downstream and influence the rest of the basin.
Andrew Wilcox (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Montana, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Jordan Gilbert (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Montana, email@example.com;