Category: Student Competition
The Natural Channel Design (NCD) approach to stream restoration was developed to reproduce the function of natural streams. Headwater tributaries of the Catalpa Creek in Mississippi are on urban fringe and have been experiencing progressive development in the last decade. The runoff depth and peak flows from stormflow events have increased inducing incision and streambank erosion. A project based learning study is in progress to determine the hydrologic, hydraulic and geomorphologic functions of a 0.8 mile reach along a tributary of the Catalpa Creek and propose a stream restoration design following the NCD approach. The design considers restoring floodplain connectivity, increasing sinuosity and reducing active erosion. The goal and specific objectives of the study are addressed combining field reconnaissance and detailed data collection, laboratory analysis and computational modeling techniques. Hydraulic, hydrologic and geomorphologic data was collected and analyzed including channel and floodplain survey, flow depth and velocity at different stages, sediment loads, and streambank materials. Hydrologic assessment is completed using GIS applications and the STREAMSTATS (Ver. 4.0) tool. The HEC-RAS model is used to assess existing stream conditions, and to test the effectiveness of the proposed restoration design, which will include in-stream structures to decrease potential effects of near bank shear stress. The final manuscript will detail the characteristics of the proposed restoration design and an evaluation of the expected outcomes related to the improvement of stream functionality.
Taylor Buie– Undergraduate Student, Mississippi State University, Starkville