The Provo River Restoration Project
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
The Provo River Restoration Project (http://www.mitigationcommission.gov/prrp/prrp.html) is the largest river restoration project to date in Utah. Between 1999 and 2008, meanders were carved into the 7.7 mile-long straightened middle Provo River between Jordanelle Dam and Deer Creek Reservoir, with the goal of restoring pattern and ecological function to a more natural condition. Project components included reconnecting this large gravel-bed river to existing remnants of historic secondary channels and constructing small side channels to recreate aquatic features. Existing levees have been set back to create a near natural flood plain and to allow the river to change course naturally.
An unanticipated influx of gravel to part of the middle Provo River has resulted in pronounced channel adjustments since restoration was completed in 2004. Ongoing monitoring efforts include measurements of bed load transport rates and of the associated changes in channel morphology. The objectives of the monitoring program are twofold: (1) to inform adaptive management of the PRRP, which may include gravel augmentation in the future, and (2) to document the response of a large reconfigured channel to an unanticipated influx of gravel. A highlight of the monitoring program is a controlled flood experiment that occurred during spring runoff 2009. During the 2009 flood, bed load transport rates were systematically measured over the full duration of the flood hydrograph using a boat-based Toutle River 2 (TR-2) sampler, which is a pressure-difference bed load sampler. Transport measurements were bracketed by high-resolution measurements of channel topography, collected using a combination of total stations and real-time kinematic GPS (rtkGPS).
This half-day field trip for participants will be led by Utah State University doctoral candidate Susannah Erwin, whose dissertation (with Jack Schmidt) focuses on the mechanics of bar development in meandering channels and constructing a sediment budget for the restored middle Provo River. In the field, Susannah will explain her research approach and findings, and demonstrate sediment and surveying equipment at USGS discharge gages located along the restored reach of the Provo. The field trip will highlight strategies for monitoring dynamic river systems and for anticipating channel response to changes in sediment supply.
**DISCLAIMER: You are encouraged to pre-register for this technical tour. ASCE reserves the right to cancel this tour if the minimum attendee requirement is not reached before the tour date.