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Sediment monitoring and streamflow modeling before and after a stream restoration in Rice Creek, Minnesota, 2010–2019

March 10, 2022

The Rice Creek Watershed District (RCWD) cooperated with the U.S. Geological Survey to establish a 10-year suspended sediment and bedload monitoring and streamflow modeling study to evaluate the effects of two restored meander sections on middle Rice Creek in Arden Hills, Minnesota. The RCWD goals of this stream restoration were to reduce water quality impairments, improve aquatic habitat, and reduce associated costs of dredging a sedimentation pond. During the study there were several factors that introduced uncertainty in the sampling results; however, the sampling results indicated there was an increase in the post-stream restoration sediment data because of higher streamflows during the post-stream than the pre-stream restoration monitoring period. The negative relation between suspended fines and streamflow was explained by a reduction in the supply of fines with increasing streamflows. The positive relation among suspended sand, bedload, and streamflow was because of those constituents having a functional relation with the hydraulic properties of flow and a consistent supply of sand. Two-dimensional flow modeling simulations indicated the downstream restored section had less shear stress, more pools, and could access the floodplain at a lower streamflow than the original channel. Overall, the uncertainty of the sampling results indicates the complexity of sediment transport in a river and suggests a need for multisite, multifaceted, multiyear data, and tools to simulate those data to effectively evaluate river restorations.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2022
Title Sediment monitoring and streamflow modeling before and after a stream restoration in Rice Creek, Minnesota, 2010–2019
DOI 10.3133/sir20225004
Authors Joel T. Groten, Colin T. Livdahl, Stephen B. DeLong, J. William Lund, Jonathan M. Nelson, Erin N. Coenen, Jeffrey R. Ziegeweid, Matthew J. Kocian
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Scientific Investigations Report
Series Number 2022-5004
Index ID sir20225004
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Minnesota Water Science Center