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Big Cypress/Caddo Watershed Geomorphic Classification Ryan Smith The Nature Conservancy of Texas.

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Presentation on theme: "Big Cypress/Caddo Watershed Geomorphic Classification Ryan Smith The Nature Conservancy of Texas."— Presentation transcript:

1 Big Cypress/Caddo Watershed Geomorphic Classification Ryan Smith The Nature Conservancy of Texas

2 Utility of River Classification Understand watershed context of the river Understand watershed context of the river Understand normal channel, habitat, and biological characteristics Understand normal channel, habitat, and biological characteristics Understand impacts on natural characteristics Understand impacts on natural characteristics Selection of reaches for studies of habitat, water quality, riparian, etc Selection of reaches for studies of habitat, water quality, riparian, etc

3 River Styles Brierly and Fryirs 2000 Brierly and Fryirs 2000 Developed in Australia Developed in Australia Selected by TCEQ, TPWD, and TWDB for Texas Instream Flows Program Selected by TCEQ, TPWD, and TWDB for Texas Instream Flows Program Meets recommendations of NAS review Meets recommendations of NAS review Physical basis Physical basis Channel morphology Channel morphology Hierarchical structure Hierarchical structure Physiographic/hydrologic setting Physiographic/hydrologic setting Floodplain and riparian zone Floodplain and riparian zone

4 Stage 1 Data Compilation (description and mapping) Derive watershed boundary conditions Determine landscape units Assess river character Stage 2 Data Analysis Define and interpret River Styles Explain contemporary character/behavior Assess river history Stage 3 Predict future river structure Stage 4 Prioritize watershed management issues Stage 5 Identify target conditions for river Stages of a River Styles Procedure

5 River Styles Hierarchy Watershed Watershed area determined by drainage divide. Determines the boundary conditions within which rivers operate. Geomorphic Unit Instream and floodplain landforms (pools, bars, levees, backwaters, etc.) that reflect distinct form-process associations. River Style Length of channel with a characteristic assemblage of geomorphic units. Landscape Unit Topographic unit determined on the basis of local relief, valley slope and morphology. Defines the valley-setting. Hydraulic Unit Uniform patches of flow and substrate material within a geomorphic unit. Microhabitat Individual elements (e.g., logs, rocks, gravel patches) within a stream.

6 GIS Data Atlas TNC NFWF grant TNC NFWF grant GIS data atlas for the Caddo Lake watershed GIS data atlas for the Caddo Lake watershed West Gulf Coastal Plain aquatic conservation priorities West Gulf Coastal Plain aquatic conservation priorities Considering development of data for River Styles Stage 1 analysis of Big Cypress Bayou watershed Considering development of data for River Styles Stage 1 analysis of Big Cypress Bayou watershed TNC aquatic ecosystems classification TNC aquatic ecosystems classification Many river characteristics calculated in a GIS Many river characteristics calculated in a GIS Consider datas usefulness for River Styles Consider datas usefulness for River Styles Consider developing additional data in the data atlas work Consider developing additional data in the data atlas work

7 TNC Aquatic Ecosystems Classification Mapped in 1:100K National Hydrography Dataset Mapped in 1:100K National Hydrography Dataset Variables: Variables: Watershed area Watershed area Gradient Gradient Contributing area geology Contributing area geology Longitudinal connectivity Longitudinal connectivity

8 River Styles for Big Cypress Watershed? Undertake a River Styles analysis for Big Cypress Bayou watershed? Undertake a River Styles analysis for Big Cypress Bayou watershed? Value added? Value added? Relationship to other studies (e.g., channel cross-sections)? Relationship to other studies (e.g., channel cross-sections)? Relationship to characterization, classification of hydrologic regime Relationship to characterization, classification of hydrologic regime What are the most important aspects of river characteristics in the area that would need to be included in the development of River Styles here? What are the most important aspects of river characteristics in the area that would need to be included in the development of River Styles here? Watershed characteristics? Watershed characteristics? Landscape, geomorphic unit characteristics? Landscape, geomorphic unit characteristics? What data are needed? What data are needed? Is TNCs data useful? What else needed? Is TNCs data useful? What else needed? Limitation of geomorphology expertise Limitation of geomorphology expertise

9 River Styles: Australian Example Watershed Namoi River Basin, New South Wales Kilometers Lower Namoi Sub-basin Middle Namoi Sub-basin Mooki Sub-basin Peel Sub-basin Macdonald/Manilla Sub-basin

10 River Styles: Australian Example Watershed Landscape Unit Namoi River Basin, New South Wales Kilometers Legend – Landscape Units Rugged metasediments Rugged volcanics Uplands Pillaga outwash Pillaga Mid to lower Peel Lowland plains Liverpool plains

11 Channel and Valley Width Channel Slope Valley Cross Section Planform Uplands Escarpment Base of the Escarpment Rounded Foothills Lowland Plain Landscape Unit River Style Head- water Gorge Fan Cut & Fill (Incised) Cut & Fill (Intact) Vertically Accreated Floodplain Throughput Floodout Transfer Floodplain Accumulation

12 River Styles: Australian Example Watershed Landscape Unit River Style Kilometers Middle Namoi Sub-basin

13 Geomorphic Unit Hydraulic Unit Microhabitat Riffle Floodplain Run Pool Bar Secondary Channel Pool Backwater Trailing Vegetation Submerged Macrophyte Cobbles Large Woody Debris Boulders Sand Leaf Pack Rippled flow on cobbles Smooth surface flow on cobbles Smooth surface flow on cobbles/sand Barely perceptible flow on sand/boulders Barely perceptible flow on sand


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