Date of Award

Fall 12-20-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Geosciences

First Advisor

Dr. Seth E. Rose, Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Jordan A. Clayton

Third Advisor

Dr. Daniel M. Deocampo

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Leslie A. Edwards

Abstract

Rivers and streams are sensitive to alterations in their watersheds and one of the greatest disturbances is from urban development. An urban stream channel in the Atlanta metropolitan area in the Georgia Piedmont was studied to establish the nature of adjustment the channel form was experiencing. This study compared a degraded channel with a channel influenced by stabilization efforts in the same stream reach, in order to investigate the behavior of channel adjustments towards a greater stability. Measurements of the short-term changes in channel cross-sectional area and bed-material volume, following a series of threshold flow events, were taken in the reach and the variation in bed sediment texture was also investigated. Results showed that channel banks were stable compared to more mobile beds and that urban effects continued to dictate sedimentation. Rehabilitation measures were aggrading channels in their reaches and were likely perpetuating the instability of upstream channels.

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