Kitts, Duncan Renfield
The hydraulic and hydrological performance of large wood accumulation in a low-order forest stream.
University of Southampton, Geography,
Large wood and its accumulations are poorly understood despite being an important feature in the functioning of forested river channels and floodplains. Large wood has previously been removed from rivers in order to reduce flow resistance and increase channel conveyance. However, recently there has been an appreciation of the role of large wood accumulations in creating important aquatic habitat, increasing geomorphic diversity, re-connecting river channels to their floodplains and in the development of multi-channel anastomosed river patterns. This thesis examines the role that large wood plays at a range of scales in a low-order forested stream in the New Forest, Southern England. The study river was subject to restoration measures, involving the addition of large wood to the river channel, as part of an EU LIFE III project.
An empirical and Froude-scaled flume approach is taken to determine the role of large wood accumulations upon the reach-scale flow resistance values. Large wood accumulations from a variety of environments are assessed to determine the hydraulic effects of accumulations of different architecture in different environments. Field data from the study catchment is used to show the role of large wood in increasing the frequency and duration of reach-scale, floodplain inundation. Hydrological data shows the impact the restoration has upon both flood peak magnitude and flood peak travel time highlighting the potential benefits of large wood to downstream flood risk. A 2-Dimensional model is produced which simulates the effect of a range of large wood accumulations upon the inundation extent. An approach using spatial diversity metrics, widely used in ecological sciences, is conducted in an attempt to quantify the flow depth and flow velocity diversity, which can influence flow habitat diversity. Results show that large wood can initiate an anastomosing flow pattern which allows increases flow depth diversity by up to 49% and flow velocity diversity by up to 48%
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