Ensuring Restoration Success and Management Effectiveness for the Imperiled Blackside Dace at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park: Sediment Acquisition and Modeling of Davis Branch

Grants and Contracts Details


Turbidity data and monthly collection of water samples will be collected by National Park Service personnel that will be sent to the Kentucky Water Science Center sediment analysis laboratory for analysis of total suspended sediment load and sediment fraction analysis (percent silt-clay). Monthly samples will be collected for a period of two years from one station located in the free-flowing reach of Davis Branch above the beaver impounded reach and from one station located downstream of the of beaver-impounded stream reach. Additionally, CESU partner will install stage-triggered ISCO automatic water samplers at these locations in anticipation of storm-related storm pulses in order to collect storm-related suspended sediment samples at hourly intervals across the peak-discharge hydrograph period during 2-3 storm events per year for each of the two years of the project. Sediment sampling protocols of the USGS will be followed, as described in “Field Methods for Measurement of Fluvial Sediment,” (Edwards and Glysson, 1999). Monthly suspended sediment sampling will be conducted by Park personnel, and event-related sampling will be conducted by the University of Kentucky Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Department (UK BAE). Relationships among turbidity, TSS and particle size distribution will be developed. One secondary objective of the proposal is to make WATER compatible with the storm water hydrology and sediment pond attributes of Sediment, Erosion, Discharge by Computer Aided Design (SEDCAD). SEDCAD is a widely utilized program for designing and predicting the performance of sediment control structures such as sediment ponds. The Beaver dams have created essentially sediment ponds in series and will be modeled in SEDCAD as such to predict sediment loads and particle size distribution. It is envisioned that KYWSC and UK BAE’s combined modeling activities will result in development of new and innovative techniques for predicting and analyzing deposition and transport of suspended sediments in ungaged, flashy streams such as those within CUGA and elsewhere in the Cumberland River basin. In addition to the event-related suspended sediment sampling, UK BAE will conduct field studies needed to assess the effectiveness of using a field compatible Laser In-Situ Scattering and Transmissometery (LISST) unit for on-site analysis of SSC and particle size distribution. Additionally, UK BAE has the capabilities to determine the in-situ velocity of sediment particles being transported by streamflow or settling behind beaver ponds using the Sontek Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter (ADV) equipment. Sediment surveys and sampling, coupled with the compatible WATER-SEDCAD model functions, will provide the capabilities of predicting potential sediment deposition and transport impacts on blackside dace and overall stream habitat on a storm-by-storm basis under current conditions and provide insights into the probable impacts associated with alternative methods of beaver pond removal, and post-restoration stream hydrology.
Effective start/end date2/1/149/30/15


  • US Geological Survey: $75,900.00


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