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Monday, April 9 • 10:15am - 10:30am
SYMPOSIA-05: Spatial Patterns of Riparian and Geomorphic Disturbance Following Catastrophic Record Flooding on the Blanco River, Texas, USA

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AUTHORS: Kimberly M. Meitzen*, John Phillips, Aspen Manning – Texas State University; Thais Perkins, TreeFolks

ABSTRACT: The Blanco River, which flows through the limestone Balcones Canyonlands of central Texas (USA), experienced catastrophic flooding in May 2015 that resulted in significant bio-geomorphic disturbance to its riparian corridor. High-resolution aerial and satellite imagery from pre- and post-flooding for a 55 km reach of river were used to map and categorize patterns of disturbance by degree of severity ranging from complete floodplain stripping to no disturbance. A two-part schema was used to classify disturbance relative to both riparian and geomorphic factors. Total disturbance are was quantified for FEMA floodplain boundary areas including the floodway, 100-, and 500-year floodplains. The most severe disturbance occurred within the floodway near the channel and decreased with lateral distance into the 100-year and 500-year floodplains, and beyond the 500-year floodplain. Disturbance patterns previously identified in the literature including meander scour, parallel chute scour, convex bank erosion, and macro-turbulent scour were all present following this event, as well as substantial disturbance proximal to tributary confluences. In the aftermath of this event, TreeFolks, a local non-profit organization, engaged with the community to actively replant and restore the riparian corridor of the Blanco River on both public and private lands. These reforestation efforts supplement the natural passive recovery of the riparian corridor, enabling the system to recover more quickly and be resilient to future flood events.

Monday April 9, 2018 10:15am - 10:30am CDT
Water Tower Parlor

Attendees (5)