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Channel and floodplain change analysis over a 100-year period: Lower Yuba River, California

Ghoshal, Subhajit, James, L. Allan, Singer, Michael B. and Aalto, Rolf 2010. Channel and floodplain change analysis over a 100-year period: Lower Yuba River, California. Remote Sensing 2 (7) , pp. 1797-1825. 10.3390/rs2071797

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Abstract

Hydraulic gold mining in the Sierra Nevada, California (1853–1884) displaced ~1.1 billion m3 of sediment from upland placer gravels that were deposited along piedmont rivers below dams where floods can remobilize them. This study uses topographic and planimetric data from detailed 1906 topographic maps, 1999 photogrammetric data, and pre- and post-flood aerial photographs to document historic sediment erosion and deposition along the lower Yuba River due to individual floods at the reach scale. Differencing of 3 × 3-m topographic data indicates substantial changes in channel morphology and documents 12.6 × 106 m3 of erosion and 5.8 × 106 m3 of deposition in these reaches since 1906. Planimetric and volumetric measurements document spatial and temporal variations of channel enlargement and lateral migration. Over the last century, channels incised up to ~13 m into mining sediments, which dramatically decreased local flood frequencies and increased flood conveyance. These adjustments were punctuated by event-scale geomorphic changes that redistributed sediment and associated contaminants to downstream lowlands.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Ocean Sciences
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 2072-4292
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 1 September 2017
Date of Acceptance: 13 July 2010
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2017 12:04
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/104156

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