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Preserving geomorphic data records of flood disturbances

June 1, 2015

No central database or repository is currently available in the USA to preserve long-term, spatially extensive records of fluvial geomorphic data or to provide future accessibility. Yet, because of their length and continuity these data are valuable for future research. Therefore, we built a public accessible website to preserve data records of two examples of long-term monitoring (40 and 18 years) of the fluvial geomorphic response to natural disturbances. One disturbance was ∼50-year flood on Powder River in Montana in 1978, and the second disturbance was a catastrophic flood on Spring Creek following a ∼100-year rainstorm after a wildfire in Colorado in 1996.

Two critical issues arise relative to preserving fluvial geomorphic data. The first is preserving the data themselves, but the second, and just as important, is preserving information about the location of the field research sites where the data were collected so the sites can be re-located and re-surveyed in the future. The latter allows long-term datasets to be extended into the future and to provide critical background data for interpreting future landscape changes. Data were preserved on a website to allow world-wide accessibility and to upload new data to the website as they become available. We describe the architecture of the website, lessons learned in developing the website, future improvements, and recommendations on how also to preserve information about the location of field research sites.

Publication Year 2015
Title Preserving geomorphic data records of flood disturbances
DOI 10.1016/j.grj.2015.02.016
Authors John A. Moody, Deborah A. Martin, Robert H. Meade
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title GeoResJ
Index ID 70189355
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization National Research Program - Central Branch