TRiO McNair Research Internship:__________________________________________________________
Visual Sediment Deposition Following Dam Removal on the Elwha River, Washington (2014)
Dammed rivers trap sediment in reservoirs, causing decreased downstream sediment deposition. Dam removal rapidly releases this sediment to downstream reaches. The removal of the Elwha and Glines Canyon Dams on the Elwha River, Olympic Peninsula, Washington provides an opportunity to observe this sediment transport. The objective of my study was to document the sediment deposition on different sections of the river. I predicted heavy sediment deposition in the river channel and riparian zone downstream from the dams. To document this, I compared photographs of 28 plots above, 40 plots between, and 38 plots downstream from the two dams both before and in the first summer following dam removal (2013). Pictures of a 100m2 vegetation plot were taken in the same position before and after dam removal. The photos illustrate that the middle and lower reaches experienced high levels of visual fine sediment deposition, and the upper reach remained visually similar to previous years. This photographic data will provide a visual baseline for assessing the long term effects of dam removal.
Visual Sediment Deposition Following Dam Removal on the Elwha River, Washington,
Honors and Awards:______________________________________________________________________
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