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Aggradation in the Carbon River: A case study at Mount Rainier, Washington

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Author(s): Emily F. Knoth

Document Type: M.S. Thesis
Publisher: Murray State University
Published Year: 2015
Pages: 61
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The Carbon River is a glacially fed river system located within the boundary of Mount Rainier National Park in Washington State. The river is actively experiencing a high rate of aggradation, which is inevitably leading to flooding and damage to trails and park infrastructure. Seven cross sectional measurements in two specific areas of the river were calculated in the summer of 2014; two near the Park Entrance and five near Ipsut Campground. These results show that the integrated area of cross sectional data between the two reaches are very similar. The park entrance showed an average 325.55m2 while the area near Ipsut Campground produced a comparable value of 331.82m2 revealing a comparable amount of area in the riverbed. LiDAR ground returns from 2008 and 2012 were used to create subtraction maps in order to display areas of aggradation and erosion, and determine if those values are similar. The results were split into three sections of the river: The upper section yielded a gain of 0.009m2 per year. The middle section yielded a gain of 0.002m2, while the lower section yielded a loss of -0.01m2 per year. These results show that the Carbon River is aggrading in areas and eroding in others. The Carbon River should be classified as a laterally-active gravel-dominated anabranching river system to encompass all the various influences in the watershed. The role of climate change should be addressed in future studies due to the possible influx of glacial melting and subsequent increase in sediment.

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In Text Citation:
Knoth (2015) or (Knoth, 2015)

References Citation:
Knoth, E.F., 2015, Aggradation in the Carbon River: A case study at Mount Rainier, Washington: M.S. Thesis, Murray State University, 61 p..