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  • Remote Sensing Tools to Support Ordinary High Water Mark Delineation

    Abstract: This document is a technical note (TN) that describes existing and recently developed tools to support ordinary high water mark (OHWM) identification and delineation. It also presents a case study to demonstrate how utilizing the tools provide supporting lines of evidence in OHWM delineations.
  • National Ordinary High Water Mark Field Delineation Manual for Rivers and Streams : Interim Version

    Abstract: The ordinary high water mark (OHWM) defines the lateral extent of nontidal aquatic features in the absence of adjacent wetlands in the United States. The federal regulatory definition of the OHWM, 33 CFR 328.3(c)(7), states the OHWM is “that line on the shore established by the fluctuations of water and indicated by physical characteristics such as [a] clear, natural line impressed on the bank, shelving, changes in the character of soil, destruction of terrestrial vegetation, the presence of litter and debris, or other appropriate means that consider the characteristics of the surrounding areas.” This is the first manual to present a methodology for nationwide identification and delineation of the OHWM. A two-page data sheet and field procedure outline a weight-of-evidence (WoE) methodology to organize and evaluate observations at stream sites. This manual presents a consistent, science-based method for delineating the OHWM in streams. It also describes regional differences and challenges in identifying the OHWM at sites disturbed by human-induced or natural changes and illustrates how to use remote data to structure field inquiries and interpret field evidence using the principles of fluvial science. The manual demonstrates that, in many landscape settings, the OHWM may be located near the bankfull elevation.
  • National Ordinary High Water Mark Field Delineation Manual for Rivers and Streams : Interim Version

    Abstract: The ordinary high water mark (OHWM) defines the lateral extent of nontidal aquatic features in the absence of adjacent wetlands in the United States. The federal regulatory definition of the OHWM, 33 CFR 328.3(c)(7), states the OHWM is “that line on the shore established by the fluctuations of water and indicated by physical characteristics such as [a] clear, natural line impressed on the bank, shelving, changes in the character of soil, destruction of terrestrial vegetation, the presence of litter and debris, or other appropriate means that consider the characteristics of the surrounding areas.” This is the first manual to present a methodology for nationwide identification and delineation of the OHWM. A two-page data sheet and field procedure outline a weight-of-evidence (WoE) methodology to organize and evaluate observations at stream sites. This manual presents a consistent, science-based method for delineating the OHWM in streams. It also describes regional differences and challenges in identifying the OHWM at sites disturbed by human-induced or natural changes and illustrates how to use remote data to structure field inquiries and interpret field evidence using the principles of fluvial science. The manual demonstrates that, in many landscape settings, the OHWM may be located near the bankfull elevation.
  • Engineering With Nature®: Supporting Mission Resilience and Infrastructure Value at Department of Defense Installations

    Abstract: This book illustrates some of the current challenges and hazards experienced by military installations, and the content highlights activities at seven military installations to achieve increased resilience through natural infrastructure.
  • Hydrologic Analysis of Field Delineated Ordinary High Water Marks for Rivers and Streams

    Abstract: Streamflow influences the distribution and organization of high water marks along rivers and streams in a landscape. The federal definition of ordinary high water mark (OHWM) is defined by physical and vegetative field indicators that are used to identify inundation extents of ordinary high water levels without any reference to the relationship between streamflow and regulatory definition. Streamflow is the amount, or volume, of water that moves through a stream per unit time. This study explores regional characteristics and relationships between field-delineated OHWMs and frequency-magnitude streamflow metrics derived from a flood frequency analysis. The elevation of OHWM is related to representative constant-level discharge return periods with national average return periods of 6.9 years using partial duration series and 2.8 years using annual maximum flood frequency approaches. The range in OHWM return periods is 0.5 to 9.08, and 1.05 to 11.01 years for peaks-over-threshold and annual maximum flood frequency methods, respectively. The range of OHWM return periods is consistent with the range found in national studies of return periods related to bankfull streamflow. Hydraulic models produced a statistically significant relationship between OHWM and bank-full, which reinforces the close relationship between the scientific concept and OHWM in most stream systems.