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Monitoring and Modeling Sediment Transport and Geomorphology Changes Associated with Dam Removal

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Paper number  701P0904,  . (doi: 10.13031/2013.17399)
Authors:   Fang Cheng, Tim Granata

The flushing of reservoir sediments downstream is the primary concern associated with dam removal. Sediment release can cause changes in river morphology, flow, aquatic habitats and river ecosystem processes both downstream and upstream. Knowing the dynamics of reservoir sediment transport is the key to understanding the influences of dam removal on river ecosystems. Combining GPS, acoustic methodology and traditional survey techniques, we quantitatively monitored and analyzed changes in river topography and sediment distribution resulting from the removal of St. Johns' dam, Sandusky River, Ohio. River and floodplain elevations were surveyed using Trimble 5700 GPS receiver and base station. Bedload transport rates were measured using bedload traps. Mean velocities and discharge at cross sections with bedload traps were measured using a handheld Sontek FlowTracker acoustic Doppler velocimeter. YSI Sonde water quality sensors, including turbidity probes, were installed both downstream and upstream capturing the time series changes in suspended sediment concentration within the first week after dam removal. A one-dimensional sediment transport model is being developed to simulate the hydraulic changes using MIKE 11 software (DHI Water & Environment).

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