Date of Award

Spring 4-5-2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Seth Rose

Second Advisor

Dr. Jordan Clayton

Third Advisor

Dr. Daniel Deocampo


Rivers are said to be self-shaping when a stream is able to create its own morphological features. This occurs when bankfull Shields stress (τbf*) is greater than reference Shields stress (τr*). Shields stress in the channel is affected during upstream progression by the height and width of the water decreasing, the slope becoming steeper, and the bed material becoming coarser. Bankfull Shields stress decreased progressing upstream while reference Shields stress increased due to increased slope. The self-shaping portions of the Conasauga occur in areas where the relative roughness of the bed material is fully submerged or greater than 5. Once the relative submergence is no longer fully submerged the stream channel no longer produces enough bankfull Shields stress to overcome the reference Shields stress. This occurs about midway through the study. This study allows better classification of streams using Shields stress and better understanding of channel processes for hydrologic engineering.