Discipline: Ecology Environmental and Earth Sciences
Room: Exhibit Hall A
Olivia Komoroski - Savannah State University
Co-Author(s): Christopher Hintz, Marine and Environmental Sciences, Savannah State University
Flowing 484 km along the Georgia, South Carolina border, the Savannah River passes through 25 counties. The populations of these counties can be greatly affected by the river flooding, especially near or just below the head of tide. The Georgia Department of National Resources has defined the head of tide as the upstream extent of the river where the tidal range is at least 0.2 ft (0.06 m). Previous research found that the head of tide moves as much as 10 km downstream during flood events. It is possible that head of tide migrates upstream during drought. However, there is no standard measure of river stage during these drought conditions. The purpose of the current study was to determine the average gauge height during normal rainfall and periods of drought. Upstream United States Geological Survey (USGS) data for the Savannah River near Clyo, Georgia was compared to the drought severity and coverage index (DSCI) for the southeast United States from 2000 to 2019. These data are well correlated during abnormally dry to exceptional drought, but do not predict river gauge well during normal or flooding precipitation periods. River gauge height during severe drought is estimated to be 3.2 ft (0.98 m) in Cylo, Georgia. In comparison, the river is in flood stage above 11 ft (3.4 m). These data will help inform researchers about typical river behavior during drought to provide insight on tidal interactions and changes in head of tide driven by river flow dynamics.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Savannah State University
Faculty Advisor: Christopher Hintz, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: Various data research, data organization, mathematical modeling, GIS mapping.