Entrenched stream channels in the Blue Ridge Mountains
Luebke, Michelle Anne
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This study examined the morphological, hydraulic, and habitat characteristics of entrenched and non-entrenched paired reaches in six streams in northern Georgia and western North Carolina. Comparisons were made between stream pairs, reach types, and by degree of entrenchment. Reach pairings in all six streams showed significant differences in channel and floodplain morphology for mean depth and floodplain-to-channel width ratio, and in some pairings for width-to-depth ratio, width, area, flow area, hydraulic radius, and sediment particle size. In a few of the pairings there were significant differences between reach pairs for velocity, Froude number, shear stress, and stream power. Habitat type did not indicate consistent differences between reach types. The degree of entrenchment had strong relationships with gradient and sediment particle size, and moderate to strong relationships with morphology and channel hydraulic variables. Consistent effects on hydraulic variables or stream habitat are more attributable to reach gradient.