Effects of coarse woody debris on morphology and sediment storage of a mountain stream system in western Oregon

  • Nakamura F
  • Swanson F
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Effects of coarse woody debris (CWD) on channel morphology and sediment storage were investigated at five sites, representative of first-order to fifth-order streams. In the steep and bedrock-confined stream (first-second order), interaction between the channel and CWD was limited, except where breakage upon falling produced CWD pieces shorter than channel width. Channel widening, steepening and sediment storage associated with CWD were observed predominantly in third-to fifth-order streams. Variation in channel width and gradient was regulated by CWD. In the fifth-order stream, most of the CWD pieces derived from the riparian forest interacted directly with the channel without being suspended by sideslopes. In this system CWD promoted lateral channel migration, but sediment storage was temporary, with annual release and capture.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Channel morphology
  • Coarse woody debris
  • Debris flow
  • Flood
  • Fluvial geomorphology
  • Sediment storage

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