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Pacific Southwest Research Station
800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
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Title: Measuring the fraction of pool volume filled with fine sediment
Author: Hilton, Sue; Lisle, Thomas E.
Source: Res. Note PSW-RN- 414. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. 11 p
Station ID: RN-PSW-414
Description: The fraction of pool volume filled with fine sediment (usually fine sand to medium gravel) can be a useful index of the sediment supply and substrate habitat of gravel-bed channels. It can be used to evaluate and monitor channel condition and to detect and evaluate sediment sources. This fraction (V*) is the ratio of fine-sediment volume to pool water volume plus fine-sediment volume. These volumes are computed for the residual portion of the pool that lies below the elevation of the downstream riffle crest. Fine-sediment thickness is measured by driving a graduated metal probe into a fine-grained deposit until the underlying coarser substrate is felt. Water depth and fine sediment thickness are measured across transects, and volumes are computed by summing products of cross-sectional areas and distances between transects. Replicate measurements of V* were made in 20 pools, and the variability of V*w, the weighted mean value of V* for a reach, was analyzed in 12 reaches. The largest source of variability in V* was the measurement of fine sediment volume. Topographic irregularities in pools and on riffle crests and effects of variation in discharge on measurement of riffle crest elevation also affected V*. Ten to 20 pools are needed to estimate V*w in a reach, depending on acceptable error and variability between pools.
Key Words: fine sediment, pools, monitoring, sedimentation, fish habitat
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Hilton, Sue; Lisle, Thomas E. 1993. Measuring the fraction of pool volume filled with fine sediment Res. Note PSW-RN- 414. Albany, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. 11 p.
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