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ESM 234: River Systems

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Peter Forbath, (1977) The River Congo, Harpers & Rowe, New York ... Greer (1979) Water Management in the Yellow River Basin of China, Univ. of Texas ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: ESM 234: River Systems


1
ESM 234 River Systems
  • Tom Dunne
  • tdunne_at_bren.ucsb.edu
  • Tel 893-7557
  • Lectures 1000 1115 am Mondays and Wednesday
  • Office hours by appointment and when the office
    door is open (Bren 3510)
  • After class is a predictable time to catch me
  • TA Lee Harrison,
  • Ph.D. Candidate in Earth Science Dept.,
    Consultant,
  • Labs at 5 750 pm Wednesdays, Bren Computer lab.

2
Course description
  • Hydrologic and geomorphic background of
    environmental management problems concerning
    large river systems.
  • Analysis of the processes of flooding,
    sedimentation, and morphological change in
    channels, floodplains, deltas, and alluvial fans.
    Effects of climate, land use and engineering.
  • Practice in analyzing management problems
    associated with large rivers and their
    floodplains, including a California field
    exercise. Report writing on results
  • Practice in using simulation models to analyze
    environmental management problems in river
    systems Report writing on results.

3
Syllabus
  • Jan 8 River valleys as habitat for humans and
    their management problems
  • Jan 10 River valleys as habitat for more
    charismatic species. Geological and ecological
    conceptions of large rivers
  • Jan 10 Lab assignment on river management
    problems
  • Jan 17 Flow regimes
  • Description
  • statistical prediction
  • deterministic prediction
  • Jan 17 Lab assignment on basin flow prediction
  • Jan 19 Santa Clara River field trip 800 am 2
    pm

4
  • Jan 22 Flood regimes
  • generation processes and controls
  • deterministic prediction
  • emerging forms of prediction
  • Jan 24 Flood regimes
  • flood routing and prediction of inundation
  • remote sensing and other forms of inundation
    predictions
  • Jan 29 Flood regimes
  • statistical analysis and probabilistic prediction
  • historical and paleohistorical reconstruction
  • Jan 31 Managed flow regimes
  • flow regulation
  • inter-basin water transfers
  • Jan 31 Lab assignment on river hydraulics and
    flood routing

5
  • Feb 5 Sedimentation sources and storage of
    sediment
  • Feb 7 Sediment transport processes
  • Feb 12 Sediment transport predictions
  • Feb 14 Sediment transport and channel
    sedimentation modeling
  • Feb 14 Lab assignment on sediment transport and
    routing
  • Feb 21 Flood regimes impacts of floods
  • Feb 26 Flood regimes flood risk management

6
  • Feb 28 Flood regimes effects of dams and
    reservoirs
  • Feb 28 Lab/field assignment on river channel
    management
  • Mar 5 River channel form and behavior
  • Mar 7 Floodplains, deltas and estuaries
  • Mar 12 Management of sedimentation
  • Mar 14 River restoration

7
Evaluation scheme
  • Five reports on problems assigned in lab
  • One web research
  • Three computer modeling exercises
  • One analysis of a field problem in river
    management (requires attendance at field trip, 8
    am-2 pm on Friday Jan 19).
  • Grading based on thoroughness of analysis and
    effectiveness of writing.

8
Suggested Reading (Univ. Bookstore)
  • Jeffrey F. Mount, California Rivers and Streams
    The Conflict Between Fluvial Process and Land
    Use, Univ. of California Press, 1995 (paperback).
  • A. Robert, River Processes an introduction to
    fluvial dynamics, Oxford Univ. Press, 2003
    (paperback).
  • Ill send you other stuff electronically

9
The Real Books on Big Rivers
  • Sanche de Gramont (1975) The Strong Brown God
    The story of the Niger River, Hart, Davis,
    MacGibbon, London, 350 pp.
  • Bates (1868?) A Naturalist on the River Amazon
  • Alan Moorehead, The White Nile
  • Alan Moorehead, The Blue Nile
  • Peter Forbath, (1977) The River Congo, Harpers
    Rowe, New York
  • Joseph Conrad (1923) Heart of Darkness, New York,
  • Charles Greer (1979) Water Management in the
    Yellow River Basin of China, Univ. of Texas
    Press, Austin, 174 pp.

10
  • V.S. Naipaul (1979) A Bend in the River, Knopf,
    New York
  • Mark Twain Life on the Mississippi
  • John Hersey A Single Pebble (Yangzte)
  • M. Goulding, N.J.H. Smith, and D.J. Mahar (1995)
    Floods of Fortune Ecology and Economy along the
    Amazon
  • J. M. Barry (1997) Rising Tide The great
    Mississippi flood of 1927 and how it changed
    America, Simon Schuster
  • J. Stine, Mixing of the Waters, Deep as it comes
    (1927 flood in the Mississippi delta), Univ.
    Arkansas Press
  • M. Childs (1982) Mighty Mississippi biography of
    a river, Ticknor Fields, New York, 204 p.
  • R. Kelley (1989) Battling the Inland Sea floods,
    public policy, and the Sacramento Valley, Univ.
    California Press, Berkeley.
  • Peter Hessler, River Town two years on the
    Yangtze

11
River systems as habitat for humans and their
management problems
12
Large River Systems
  • Large?
  • Rivers too big to be impacted by most land
    transformation caused by humans. Watershed
    Analysis, ESM 235, covers smaller rivers.
  • Controls on their behavior are mainly
  • physiographic (i.e. driven by global tectonics
    and postglacial geological history)
  • hydroclimatological (driven by global climate)
  • land-sea level changes near mouth
  • engineering within and near the channel
  • Continental-scale rivers down to regional rivers
    larger than a few 1000 km2.
  • Our field study sites will be the Santa Clara R.
    (4000 km2), Sacramento R. ( 70,000 km2), San
    Joaquin (82880) km2)

13
River Systems?
  • Not just the channel, but
  • whole basin
  • channel network
  • valley floor
  • estuary or delta
  • lakes, if present (natural and artificial)
  • River systems comprise features that have
    enormous social and ecological significance.
  • The alluvial lowlands of large rivers are foci of
    settlement for vast human populations sustained
    by water supply, fertile soils, and ease of land
    and water transport.

14
Large river systems require management
  • For safety/habitability
  • For conservation or restoration of functions
  • Already create wealth that needs to be
    maintained or enhanced
  • Resources already fully committed or
    over-committed
  • Any rearrangement of the resources and their
    functions is likely to be contentious and gradual
  • Requires careful, thorough analysis using all the
    tools in Bren (and in you!)

15
What is a tool?
  • Governing concepts your own and others
  • Understanding of processes
  • natural
  • social
  • economic
  • political
  • legal
  • Organizing approaches (e.g.)
  • Systematic documentation of resource
    characteristics
  • Conceptual model development
  • Adaptive management
  • Simulation and War gaming
  • Computational modeling
  • ESM 234 lab exercises and more
  • Communication

16
Some governing concepts
  • Water rights
  • Navigable water ways
  • Rivers as political boundaries

17
General Principles
  • River systems are complex systems, through which
    are focused irregular fluxes of water and mobile
    terrestrial materials derived from the
    lithosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, and
    technosphere.
  • The dynamics of the transport, storage, and
    interactions of these materials creates channel
    and valley-floor environments with which the
    river continually interacts, creating certain
    functions and environmental conditions.
  • The resulting functions and environments change
    both gradually and episodically due to both
    external forcings and internal dynamics.

18
General Principles
  • Ecological changes (including human exploitation)
    therefore include both successional changes and
    perturbations of various intensities, which may
    re-set or replace the succession.
  • The continual creation results in spatial and
    temporal complexity (rather than a single
    continuum of environments linked by transport.)
  • Differences among river systems and reaches in
    the relative strengths of gradual and episodic
    change result in differences of complexity and
    function. Affects transferability of
    information.

19
Large rivers have histories (and face futures) of
environmental change
  • The continental-scale river systems of Earth
    represent some of the largest and most dynamic
    environmental units on the planet
  • They express the results of global change, as
    indicated by the elemental and isotopic records
    of past environmental variations such as
  • ice age-age conditions, other climatic
    fluctuations,
  • vegetation change,
  • human settlement found in alluvial and deltaic
    sediments.

20
Large rivers have histories (and face futures) of
environmental change
  • Environmental records indicate how large river
    systems work and how they change
  • Brought to societys attention when Hurricane
    Katrina struck the Mississippi Delta
  • Similar acknowledgment (last week) about the
    Sacramento R. floodplain and California-Bay
    Delta
  • Governments and other large, complex management
    systems with long-term commitments narrow
    interests have difficulties acknowledging
    evidence of change and its attendant
    uncertainties.
  • They tend to resist the idea that there is any
    useful understanding of environmental processes,
    because of the complexity and need for
    flexibility that is implied by acknowledging the
    existence of dynamic processes.

21
  • Thus, large river valleys present some enduring,
    refractory problems of environmental management,
    which societies must control or adjust to.
  • In class, we will review examples of such
    management issues, which you need to prepare
    yourselves to participate in. Examples
  • Colorado River floods and sedimentation below
    Glen Canyon Dam
  • California streamflows
  • Everglades Restoration
  • Anoxic marine zone off the mouth of the
    Mississippi River
  • Flood hazard management along Lower Mississippi
    River
  • International conflict over water rights and
    development plans on Nile River
  • Aral Sea
  • CALFED San Francisco Bay-Delta Ecosystem
    Restoration Program

22
Typical River Problems to Manage Colorado R.
23
Typical River Problems to Manage California
streamflows
24
Typical River Problems to Manage Everglades
New York Times
25
Typical River Problems to Manage Gulf of Mexico
Dead Zone and Mississippi R. contaminants
26
Typical River Problems to Manage New Orleans
Flood Hazard
27
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28
New Orleans flood riskNYT, 2002
29
New Orleans Flood RiskNYT, 2002
30
Nile R. basin upstream flow use and plans for
diversion to the Western Desert
31
Typical River Problems to Manage Global
disruption of river flow regimes
C. J. Vorosmarty et al, Humans transforming the
global water system, EOS Transactions AGU, 85(4),
509-514, 2004.
32
Typical River Problems to Manage Aral Sea inflow
diversions
33
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Aral Sea
35
News
California begins to restore its rivers.
Waits for Bren students.
36
Bay-Delta watershed
Watershed for the Sacramento/San Joaquin Delta
37
Bay-Delta location
Geographic scope of problem identification
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Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta channels
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45
Lower Sacramento River
46
Sacramento River
47
Sacramento R.
48
Sacramento R. bars
49
Merced River after gold dredging and gravel
extraction, before restoration
50
Merced River after gold dredging and gravel
extraction, before restoration
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CalFed
Restore ecosystem health and improve water
management in the Bay-Delta system
Increase reliability of water supplies
Improve water quality
Improve aquatic and terrestrial habitats
Strengthen levee system
At-risk species
Introduced species
Habitats
Ecological processes
Aquatic toxicity
Harvestable species
Large expanses of wetlands in C. Valley
Increase freely meandering rivers
Many river restoration actions
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Regional perspective differing priorities
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Program perspective
Restore ecosystem health and improve water
management in the Bay-Delta system
Increase reliability of water supplies
Improve water quality
Improve aquatic and terrestrial habitats
Strengthen levee system
At-risk species
Introduced species
Habitats
Ecological processes
Aquatic toxicity
Harvestable species
Large expanses of wetlands in C. Valley
Increase freely meandering rivers
Many river restoration actions
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www.socalwater.org/.../photo_album/index.htm
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