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Predicting the Interactions between Flow, Sediment, and Riparian Vegetation

Project ID: 1368
Principal Investigator: Blair Greimann
Research Topic: Sediment Management and River Restoration
Priority Area Assignments: 2011 (Climate Adaptation), 2012 (Climate Adaptation)
Funded Fiscal Years: 2011, 2012 and 2013
Keywords: None

Project Abstract

The survival of riparian vegetation within managed river systems is a growing challenge due to the increasing priority of maintaining or restoring ecosystem function while balancing the need for water supply and flood protection. Establishment, growth, and decay of riparian vegetation is largely determined by local hydraulics; conversely, characteristics of in-channel and floodplain vegetation effect hydraulics at the reach scale. Despite a wealth of prior research concerning the mechanics and biology of flow-vegetation interactions, the need for operation-level tools for making quantitative predictions remains.
The development of a coupled two-dimensional vegetation and hydraulic model developed at the Bureau of Reclamation is described. The model is based upon the SRH-2D computational software package, which contains a two-dimensional flow and mobile bed sediment transport model. The new SRH-2DV package incorporates (1) a module that simulates spatially distributed establishment, growth, and mortality of riparian vegetation and (2) a module that simulates the effect of vegetation on river and floodplain hydraulics through spatially distributed roughness. Simulation results are presented from application to simple case studies, and the utility of expanding the predictive capabilities for application to more complex systems is discussed. Results from SRH-2DV will aid the science, economics, and policy of establishing environmental flows by addressing questions regarding the physical and biological interaction of flow and vegetation in rivers and floodplains.

Contributing Partners

None

Research Products

Bureau of Reclamation Review

The following documents were reviewed by experts in fields relating to this project's study and findings. The results were determined to be achieved using valid means.

Calibration of Numerical Models for the Simulation of Sediment Transport, River Migration, and Vegetation Growth on the Sacramento River, California (interim, PDF, 6.0MB)
By Dr. Lisa Fotherby, Victor Huang, Dr. Yong Lai, Blair Greimann and Dr. Charles Young
Report completed on March 27, 2011

This report describes the calibration and/or application of five numerical models that together simulate processes of flow hydraulics, sediment transport, river meandering, and the establishment and survival of riparian vegetation in the Sacramento River Corridor in California. The study area extends from Red Bluff Diversion Dam to Colusa. Results of this modeling effort will be used to analyze the effects of project operations on the Sacramento River for the Bureau of Reclamation.
Keywords: cottonwood, river meandering, sediment transport

A Deterministic Spatially- Distributed Ecohydraulic Model for Improved Riverine System Management (interim, PDF, 1.5MB)
By Mr. Dan Dombroski
Report completed on April 30, 2014

The development of a coupled two-dimensional vegetation and hydraulic model developed is described. The model is based upon the SRH-2D computational software package, which contains a two-dimensional flow and mobile bed sediment transport model. The new SRH-2DV package incorporates two simulation modules: 1. spatially distributed establishment, growth, and mortality of riparian vegetation 2. spatially distributed vegetation roughness changes.
Keywords: hydraulic simulation, riparian vegetation, flow-vegetation interaction

Vegetation Modeling with SRH-1DV (final, PDF, 5.8MB)
By Blair Greimann
Report completed on May 30, 2014

SRH-1DV (Sedimentation and River Hydraulics-One Dimensional
Vegetation model), a numerical modeling tool, was developed from a one dimensional flow and sediment transport model (SRH-1D). This tool can help
with both improving our understanding of complex ecological responses, and help with general predictions prior to implementation of management actions.
Keywords: flow, sediment, vegetation simulation

This information was last updated on October 22, 2014
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