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Riparian Vegetation and Braided Stream Dynamics
Authors: Efi Foufoula-Georgiou, Chris Paola, Michal Tal, Elizabeth Tilman
1. To study and quantify the interactions between riparian vegetation, channel morphology, and flow dynamics.
2. To investigate how river systems self-organize as a result of these interactions.
3. To investigate spatial and dynamic scaling in braided rivers with and without vegetation.
Reseachers: Michal Tal, Chris Paola, Elizabeth Tilman (Water Resources, Univ. of MN), Efi Foufoula-Georgiou (Civil Engineering, Univ. of MN)
Ongoing experiments at the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory are designed to isolate the effects of vegetation on braided stream dynamics. These experiments show how a fully braided stream with a noncohesive bed transitions to a single-thread (meandering) system when continuously forced with vegetation. Time-lapse photography and measurements of bed topography, flow depth, sediment output, and flow velocities enable us to study and quantify the morphodynamics of the system associated with this change.