Skip to main content

John C. Schmidt

thumbnail
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
thumbnail
In settings where the transport of sand is partially or fully supply limited, changes in the upstream supply of sand are coupled to changes in the grain size of sand on the bed. In this manner, the transport of sand under the supply-limited case is ?grain-size regulated.? Since the closure of Glen Canyon Dam in 1963, the downstream reach of the Colorado River in Marble and Grand Canyons has exhibited evidence of sand-supply limitation. Sand transport in the river is now about equally regulated by changes in the discharge of water and changes in the grain sizes of sand on the channel bed and eddy sandbars. Previous work has shown that changes in the grain size of sand on the channel bed (driven by changes in the...
thumbnail
Since the 1940s, the Rio Grande in the Big Bend region has undergone long periods of channel narrowing, which have been occasionally interrupted by rare, large floods that widen the channel (termed a channel reset). The most recent channel reset occurred in 2008 following a 17-year period of extremely low stream flow and rapid channel narrowing. Flooding was caused by precipitation associated with the remnants of tropical depression Lowell in the Rio Conchos watershed, the largest tributary to the Rio Grande. Floodwaters approached 1500 m3/s (between a 13 and 15 year recurrence interval) and breached levees, inundated communities, and flooded the alluvial valley of the Rio Grande; the wetted width exceeding 2.5...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Geomorphology
thumbnail
Greater scientific knowledge, changing societal values, and legislative mandates have emphasized the importance of implementing large-scale flow experiments (FEs) downstream of dams. We provide the first global assessment of FEs to evaluate their success in advancing science and informing management decisions. Systematic review of 113 FEs across 20 countries revealed that clear articulation of experimental objectives, while not universally practiced, was crucial for achieving management outcomes and changing dam-operating policies. Furthermore, changes to dam operations were three times less likely when FEs were conducted primarily for scientific purposes. Despite the recognized importance of riverine flow regimes,...
thumbnail
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
View more...
ScienceBase brings together the best information it can find about USGS researchers and offices to show connections to publications, projects, and data. We are still working to improve this process and information is by no means complete. If you don't see everything you know is associated with you, a colleague, or your office, please be patient while we work to connect the dots. Feel free to contact sciencebase@usgs.gov.