Morphological response to reduced discharge on a losing Catawba River bifurcate

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jennifer L. Reynolds (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Dan Royall

Abstract: River Channel bifurcations resulting from partial avulsions are features of fluvial systems that remain poorly understood. The southeastern Piedmont of North Carolina is an area where large bifurcated rivers are uncommon, yet in an area near the foot of the Blue Ridge Escarpment several prominent contemporary examples exist. The initiation of these uncommon bifurcations and the subsequent persistence of split flow in these river reaches (Catawba, Linville, Yadkin Rivers and Wilson Creek) are yet to be fully understood. This study entailed GIS spatiotemporal analysis of planform morphology, hydraulic geometry and geomorphic analysis of river bank sedimentation and channel narrowing in the losing branch of a prominent Catawba River bifurcation, that are believed to influence the long-term stability of bifurcated channel patterns, and allows for determining pre- and post- bifurcation states, morphostratigraphic surveys of channel bank deposits, the nature of sedimentation events contributing most to channel adjustments over the last 39 years. It is important to study and understand the evolution of river bifurcations and the processes of avulsion that produce them because of the significant implications of these events pertaining to infrastructure management (roads, bridges and dwellings), flood hazard assessment and zonation, land conservation, as well as riverine ecosystems.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Bifurcation partial avulsions, Channel narrowing, Floodplain mining, Fluvial benches, Hydraulic Geometry, Stream channel planform
Catawba River (N.C. and S.C.) $x Channels
Streamflow $z Catawba River (N.C. and S.C.)
River sediments $z Catawba River (N.C. and S.C.)
Fluvial geomorphology

Email this document to