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Christopher S Magirl

Bureau Approval Official

Office of Science Quality and Integrity

Office Phone: 520-670-3304
Fax: 520-670-5592
ORCID: 0000-0002-9922-6549

520 N. Park Ave
Tucson , AZ 85719

Supervisor: Harry L Jenter
Abstract Dam removal is widely used as an approach for river restoration in the United States. The increase in dam removals--particularly large dams--and associated dam-removal studies over the last few decades motivated a working group at the USGS John Wesley Powell Center for Analysis and Synthesis to review and synthesize available studies of dam removals and their findings. Based on dam removals thus far, some general conclusions have emerged: (1) physical responses are typically fast, with the rate of sediment erosion largely dependent on sediment characteristics and dam-removal strategy; (2) ecological responses to dam removal differ among the affected upstream, downstream, and reservoir reaches; (3) dam removal...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Understanding landscape responses to sediment supply changes constitutes a fundamental part of many problems in geomorphology, but opportunities to study such processes at field scales are rare. The phased removal of two large dams on the Elwha River, Washington, exposed 21 ± 3 million m 3, or ~ 30 million tonnes (t), of sediment that had been deposited in the two former reservoirs, allowing a comprehensive investigation of watershed and coastal responses to a substantial increase in sediment supply. Here we provide a source-to-sink sediment budget of this sediment release during the first two years of the project (September 2011-September 2013) and synthesize the geomorphic changes that occurred to downstream fluvial...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Two large dams were removed from the Elwha River in Washington, starting in 2011 and ending in 2014. The Elwha and the Glines Canyon dams were located approximately 7 km and 20 km upstream, respectively, from the Elwha River's mouth on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The dams trapped over 20 million cubic meters of sediment. Dam removal changed the river's sediment budget and water flow, which affected the river's morphology. This data release presents digital elevation models (DEMs), orthomosaic images, dam height measurements, sediment measurements and river streamgage data that were collected by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) to support studies on morphodynamic and sediment...
Recent decades have seen a marked increase in the number of dams removed in the United States. Investigations following a number of removals are beginning to inform how, and how fast, rivers and their ecosystems respond to released sediment. Though only a few tens of studies detail physical responses to removals, common findings have begun to emerge. They include: (1) Rivers are resilient and respond quickly to dam removals, especially when removals are sudden rather than prolonged. Rivers can swiftly evacuate large fractions of reservoir sediment (≥50% within one year), especially when sediment is coarse grained (sand and gravel). The channel downstream typically takes months to years--not decades--to achieve a...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
A substantial increase in fluvial sediment supply relative to transport capacity causes complex, large-magnitude changes in river and floodplain morphology downstream. Although sedimentary and geomorphic responses to sediment pulses are a fundamental part of landscape evolution, few opportunities exist to quantify those processes over field scales.We investigated the downstream effects of sediment released during the largest dam removal in history, on the Elwha River, Washington, USA, by measuring changes in riverbed elevation and topography, bed sediment grain size, and channel planform as two dams were removed in stages over two years. As 10.5 million t (7.1 million m3) of sediment was released from two former...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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