Discipline: Ecology Environmental and Earth Sciences
Room: Exhibit Hall A
Maria Herrera - Seward County Community College
Co-Author(s): Trisha Moore, Kansas State University, Manhattan Kansas
Streambank erosion rates in Kansas have resulted in a water management crisis, the eroding sediment is quickly reducing the water capacity of downstream reservoirs causing flooding and water shortages. To help prioritize streambank restoration we are estimating erosion rates in smaller streams by analyzing tree roots exposed via streambank erosion to see if a notable amount of sediment could be deposited into bigger rivers. This study explores how differences in watershed use can affect streambank erosion rates, by comparing streambank erosion in an urbanized watershed and 2 burned watersheds at Konza Prairie. We compared erosion rates using the changes in the structure of exposed tree roots, a method known as dendrogeomorphology. Our hypothesis states that erosion rates will increase on urban watersheds because there is more water runoff. Cross-sections were taken from hardwood trees with exposed roots at least a meter away from the trunk that laid parallel to the stream. Samples cross-sections were left to dry and sanded down for macroscopic analysis. Results showed that urban watersheds have a greater streambank erosion rate then burned watersheds. This method was not successful at Konza Prairie because the low erosion rates caused most exposed roots to be unviable, it can be better applied on streams with high erosion rates. Future research to be done in more active streambanks.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This research is funded by the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering at Kansas State University. KS-LSAMP is supported by the NSF under grant number 1305059
Faculty Advisor: Trisha Moore, email@example.com
Role: I did the sample collection and sample analysis.