Stream classification in the Pacific Northwest : methodologies, regional analyses, and applications Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/ms35tc07j

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  • Stream management and design recommendations related to the Salmon Habitat Recovery Program in the Pacific Northwest require area specific information concerning appropriate methods of stream classification, bankfull discharge recurrence intervals, and hydraulic geometry relationships. New region specific information, based on field measurements, is presented here. The Rosgen Classification of Natural Rivers (RCNR), commonly used by resource agencies, is field tested in the Pacific Northwest (PNW). RCNR levels I and II were found to contain appropriate ranges of characteristics for the number of active channels, entrenchment, width to depth ratio, channel gradient, and bed material. However, the sinuosity range was found to be too high for many of the stream reaches evaluated. Recommendations for sinuosity range adjustments are included along with proposals for use of the RCNR on modified stream systems, previously outside of the scope of this classification system. Bankfull discharge recurrence intervals have been variously reported to rang from one. to two years, with an average of 1.5 years. Analysis of field derived bankfull discharge recurrence intervals for the PNW indicate that regional variation can be explained by climate and ecoregion classifications. Importantly, while the average bankfull discharge recurrence interval for the PNW is 1.4 years, western Oregon and Washington have intervals of 1.1 to 1.2 years, while Idaho, and eastern Oregon and Washington have intervals of 1.4 to 1.5 years. Regional hydraulic geometry regression equations were developed from field measurements and include comparisons between drainage area and bankfull width, depth, velocity, and discharge. Bankfull discharge recurrence interval is the basis for regionalization. The development of these regional regression equations allows for extrapolation of data from gaged to ungaged streams within a delineated geographic area.
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