Date of Award

5-2014

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Geography and Geology

Committee Chair

Franklin T. Heitmuller

Committee Chair Department

Geography and Geology

Committee Member 2

Omar R. Harvey

Committee Member 2 Department

Geography and Geology

Committee Member 3

Maurice Meylan

Committee Member 3 Department

Geography and Geology

Abstract

This project identifies historical cross-section adjustments in 13 rivers of the Pascagoula Basin and adjacent fluvial systems over the last 30-50 years, which could reveal hydrologic and sedimentary responses to natural causes such as flooding or various anthropogenic activities in the region, such as logging, urban development, and instream aggregate extraction. Historical depth and streamflow measurement notes, taken at established USGS gaging stations, were used to determine incremental width, depth, and discharge values. For each section and date, individual depth measurements were subtracted from the adjusted mean gage height, which represents the channel bed or submerged bank positions. Comparisons of cross-sectional plots at consistent locations through time enabled assessment of changes in shape, bed elevation, and spatial position. Despite proving useful for interpreting change at each specific location cross-sections generated from USGS gaging station reports, were not able to be extrapolated to characterize the entire channel reach or basin. Assertions in this thesis are only interpretations based on a limited understanding of watershed dynamics. Therefore, it is impossible to definitively associate channel adjustments with anthropogenic disturbances without other data to corroborate these findings.

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