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Tag: Stream measurements
  • Mississippi River Climate Model–Based Hydrograph Projections at the Tarbert Landing Location

    Abstract: To better understand and prepare for the possible effects associated with potential climate changes on the lower Mississippi River, the State of Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority sought information on the historical, current, and projected future hydrodynamics of the Mississippi River. To this end, flow duration curves (FDC) for the Tarbert Landing location were generated, based on climate models derived from two of the four scenarios of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project, Phase 5 (CMIP5), multimodel ensemble representative concentration pathways (RCPs). The global CMIP5 datasets were used by the variable infiltration capacity land surface model to produce a runoff dataset, using a bias-correction spatial disaggregation approach. The runoff datasets were then applied to simulate streamflow using the Routing Application for Parallel computatIon of Discharge (RAPID) river routing model. Based on the streamflow, FDCs were calculated for 16 CMIP5 as well as observed historical data at the Tarbert Landing location. Key observations from the results are that the 90th percentile exceedance of the simulated versus the observed flows is more frequent for the RCP 8.5 scenario than for the RCP 4.5 scenario and that the maximum annual flows for the RCP 8.5 scenario are generally smaller than for the RCP 4.5 scenario.
  • Hydrodynamics in the Morganza Floodway and Atchafalaya Basin, Report 3: Phase 3; A Report for the US Army Corps of Engineers, MRG&P

    Abstract: The Morganza Floodway and the Atchafalaya Basin, located in Louisiana west of the Mississippi River, were evaluated using a two-dimensional Adaptive Hydraulics model. Prior to this study, Phase 1 and 2 model studies were performed that indicated that the existing floodway may not be able to pass the Project Design Flood discharge of 600,000 cubic feet per second due to levee overtopping. In this study, all elevations of exterior and interior levees were updated with current crest elevations. In addition, the Phase 3 effort evaluated the sensitivity of the floodway’s flow capacity to variations in tree/vegetation density conditions. These adjustments in roughness will improve the understanding of the role of land cover characteristics in the simulated water surfaces. This study also provides a number of inundation maps corresponding to certain flows through the Morganza Control Structure.
  • Changes in Climate and Its Effect on Timing of Snowmelt and Intensity-Duration-Frequency Curves

    Abstract: Snow is a critical water resource for much of the U.S. and failure to ac-count for changes in climate could deleteriously impact military assets. In this study, we produced historical and future snow trends through modeling at three military sites (in Washington, Colorado, and North Dakota) and the Western U.S. For selected rivers, we performed seasonal trend analysis of discharge extremes. We calculated flood frequency curves and estimated the probability of occurrence of future annual maximum daily rainfall depths. Additionally, we generated intensity-duration-frequency curves (IDF) to find rainfall intensities at several return levels. Generally, our results showed a decreasing trend in historical and future snow duration, rain-on-snow events, and snowmelt runoff. This decreasing trend in snowpack could reduce water resources. A statistically significant increase in maximum streamflow for most rivers at the Washington and North Dakota sites occurred for several months of the year. In Colorado, only a few months indicated such an increase. Future IDF curves for Colorado and North Dakota indicated a slight increase in rainfall intensity whereas the Washington site had about a twofold increase. This increase in rainfall in-tensity could result in major flood events, demonstrating the importance of accounting for climate changes in infrastructure planning.
  • Approaches for Assessing Riverine Scour

    Abstract: Calculating scour potential in a stream or river is as much a geomorphological art as it is an exact science. The complexity of stream hydraulics and heterogeneity of river-bed materials makes scour predictions in natural channels uncertain. Uncertain scour depths near high-hazard flood-risk zones and flood-risk management structures lead to over-designed projects and difficult flood-risk management decisions. This Regional Sediment Management technical report presents an approach for estimating scour by providing a decision framework that future practitioners can use to compute scour potential within a riverine environment. This methodology was developed through a partnership with the US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Hydrologic Engineering Center, and St. Paul District in support of the Lower American River Contract 3 project in Sacramento, CA.