The Provo River watershed in the high Uintahs of Northern Utah houses both Jordanelle Reservoir, put in place in 1992 at the north end, and Deer Creek Reservoir further downstream. In addition, a large scale river restoration project along the Provo River was completed in 2008. This study will focus on land cover changes immediately following the Jordanelle impoundment to ascertain if this change may be affecting stream channel characteristics. In this study, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was used to assess the relationship between impoundment and river channel morphology. River channel features such as centerline, banks, bars, islands and riparian vegetation were monitored by digitizing them off aerial photographs for selected years (1987, 1993, 2006, 2011 and 2014). Comparing processed vector and raster data obtained was a basis for highlighting morphological changes in the river. The Provo River and associated Jordanelle Reservoir, serves as a unique opportunity to study the effect of impoundments due to its recent construction. In addition, we can obtain high quality aerial imagery immediately following impoundment, unlike many impoundments constructed in the 1950s and 60s. In comparing study site upstream to downstream, there was a noticeable difference in the pattern of change observed. Downstream, the channel significantly widened right after dam closure (1993) and narrowed almost a decade later (2006) whereas the upstream channel experienced more subtle changes even where widening or narrowing occurred. A more pronounced rate of vegetation establishment was also observed downstream when compared to the upstream area. This work has the potential to improve watershed management practices to result in both a healthy fluvial system and a sustainable water resource.
|Advisor:||Martinez, Adriana E., Pearson, Randall|
|School:||Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||MAI 55/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Geographic information science, Geomorphology, Environmental science|
|Keywords:||Channel changes, Geographic Information Systems, Impoundment, Provo River, Utah|
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