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USGS - science for a changing world

Katherine M. Vittum

The removal of dams has recently increased over historical levels due to aging infrastructure, changing societal needs, and modern safety standards rendering some dams obsolete. Where possibilities for river restoration, or improved safety, exceed the benefits of retaining a dam, removal is more often being considered as a viable option. Yet, as this is a relatively new development in the history of river management, science is just beginning to guide our understanding of the physical and ecological implications of dam removal. Ultimately, the “lessons learned” from previous scientific studies on the outcomes dam removal could inform future scientific understanding of ecosystem outcomes, as well as aid in decision-making...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Open-File Report
This database is the result of an extensive literature search aimed at identifying documents relevant to the emerging field of dam removal science. In total the database contains 179 citations that contain empirical monitoring information associated with 130 different dam removals across the United States and abroad. Data includes publications through 2014 and supplemented with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Inventory of Dams database, U.S. Geological Survey National Water Information System and aerial photos to estimate locations when coordinates were not provided. Publications were located using the Web of Science, Google Scholar, and Clearinghouse for Dam Removal Information.
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