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David Topping

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The Rio Grande in the Big Bend region is subject to rapid geomorphic change consisting of channel narrowing during years of low flow, and channel widening during rare, large, long duration floods. Since the 1940s, there have been large declines in mean and peak stream flow, and the channel has progressively narrowed. Large, channel widening floods are infrequent and have failed to widen the channel to widths measured prior to the onset of channel narrowing in the 1940s. Before the most recent channel-widening flood in September 2008, the Rio Grande in the Big Bend was more than 50 percent narrower than measured in the 1940s. Channel narrowing results in increased flood frequency and flood magnitude due to the loss...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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Alluvial sandbars occur in lateral recirculation zones (eddies) along the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park (Schmidt, 1990). Resource managers periodically release controlled floods from the upstream Glen Canyon Dam to rebuild these bars (Grams et al., 2015), which erode during fluctuating dam releases, and by hillslope runoff and wind deflation (Hazel et al., 2010). Because the dam blocks upstream sediment, episodic floods from tributaries provide the only supply to replace eroded sand; and much of this sand originates from a single tributary (Topping et al., 2000). Here, we present new evidence for the downstream translation of the sand component of these sediment inputs as discontinuous sand pulses....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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These data were compiled to accompany flow modeling work on Kanab Creek near the mouth (USGS gage 09403850). The data include topographic data collected by a remote sensing detection light detection and ranging (LIDAR) system and surveying total station in June 2017, high water marks from six floods from 2011 to 2013, and control points and gage structures. Topographic data include ground topography collected by LIDAR and channel bathymetry collected by total station survey of a 600 meter reach of Kanab Creek, ending at the confluence with the Colorado River in Grand Canyon, Arizona. High water mark data include sets from six floods collected by USGS personnel using total station surveys.
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A pulse of water was released from Morelos Dam into the dry streambed of the Colorado River in its former delta on March 23, 2014. Although small in relation to delta floods of a century ago, this was the first flow to reach the sea in nearly two decades. The pulse flow was significant in that it resulted from an international agreement, Minute 319, which allowed Colorado River water to be used for environmental restoration. Here we present a historical perspective of channel change and the results of geomorphic and sediment transport monitoring during the pulse flow between Yuma, Arizona and San Luis Rio Colorado, Sonora. This reach is known as the Limitrophe, because the river channel is the legal border between...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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We have developed a physically based method for using two acoustic frequencies to measure suspended-silt-and-clay concentration, suspended-sand concentration, and suspended-sand median grain size in river cross sections at 15-minute intervals over decadal timescales. The method is strongly grounded in the extensive scientific literature on the scattering of sound by suspensions of small particles. In particular, the method takes advantage of the specific theoretical relations among acoustic frequency, acoustic attenuation, acoustic backscatter, suspended-sediment concentration, and suspended-sediment grain-size distribution. We briefly describe the theory and methods, demonstrate the application of the method, and...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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