Patterns of urban stream stability: relaxation times and the conditions of (dis)equilibrium in low-order urban watersheds

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

Abstract: There is a need to understand the drivers and process mechanisms by which urban stream channels change, to include the pathways through which they evolve. Finding appropriate criteria for accurate assessment of stream adjustment in urban environments has emerged as an important, but difficult endeavor. The overall goal of this study is to determine what morphological variables, if any, achieve a new equilibrium following the disturbance caused by urbanization as well as ascertain the relaxation period associated with this adjustment. For this thesis a total of 19 channel reaches in North and South Buffalo Creek were studied in terms of several morphological characteristics, as well as the accompanying characteristics of each sub-basin these channels were within. The sub-basins were analyzed in terms of impervious cover, peak construction period, and topographic considerations. These values, both at the channel and watershed scale, were analyzed statistically to determine any predominant trends observed as a means of ascertaining the timeline between peak construction periods and channel stabilization. The overriding finding of this study was that the morphological channel value of the width/depth ratio appears to display a relaxation period of approximately 60 years, equilibrating at a value around 4.8.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Fluvial, Geomorphology
North Buffalo Creek (N.C.) $x Channels
South Buffalo Creek (N.C.) $x Channels
River channels $z North Carolina
Urban watersheds $z North Carolina
Fluvial geomorphology $z North Carolina

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