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Dendrogeomorphology for Post-hoc Erosion Evaluation in Southern U.S. Prairie Streams
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  • Joseph White,
  • Peter Allen,
  • Stephen Norair G,
  • Samuel Barber T,
  • John Dunbar,
  • Jungang Gao
Joseph White
Baylor University Department of Biology

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Peter Allen
Baylor University Department of Geology
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Stephen Norair G
Baylor University Department of Geology
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Samuel Barber T
Baylor University Department of Geology
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John Dunbar
Baylor University Department of Geology
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Jungang Gao
Texas A&M AgriLife Temple Research Center
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Abstract

Streambank erosion impacts rivers and reservoirs due to bank erosion. However, little information of stream bank is available due to the need for advanced planning. Dendrogeomorphology offers a post-hoc method to calculate streambank erosion providing information about past erosion events and processes. Bank retreat can be calculated by dendrogeomorphology where the distance from a channel bank of an exposed live root shows anatomical changes that are dated from the root’s growth rings. We estimated bank erosion for three different sized southern U.S. watersheds ranging in area from 4 to 3781 km 2 using dendrogeomorphology compared to modeled erosion based on critical velocity required for sediment transport. Erosion values ranging from 3.8 to 13.5 cm/yr for the smaller drainages with no difference found between root and modeled erosion rates. The large sub-basin had erosion ranging from 33.6 to 196.4 cm/yr with high variance associated with two prior 2-year flow events with significant differences found between root and modeled values. We also found distance to bank strongly and positively correlated with root exposure in straight sections of the channel in contrast to roots collected in meander bends attributed to erosion processes (i.e., scour, mass wasting) occurring at these locations. When compared with other erosion studies across the southern U.S. prairie, our values were similar in magnitude but with low correlation to drainage area indicating site specificity of erosion mechanisms. We confirm dendrogeomorphology provides reasonable estimate of bank erosion across multiple spatial scales, important for watershed management in areas lacking intentional and persistent monitoring.
04 Oct 2023Submitted to River Research and Applications
04 Oct 2023Assigned to Editor
04 Oct 2023Submission Checks Completed
09 Oct 2023Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
09 Oct 2023Reviewer(s) Assigned
06 Nov 2023Editorial Decision: Revise Major