Defense Date

2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Edward Crawford

Second Advisor

Dr. Arif Sikder

Third Advisor

Dr. Stephen McIninch

Abstract

Damming disrupts natural sediment flow to downstream resulting in legacy sediment accumulation. Legacy sediments have been well investigated in streams throughout the Piedmont region; however, there is no research of legacy sediments following dam removal in low-gradient Coastal Plain streams. Research objectives were to: characterize legacy sediments in a low-gradient stream restoration, quantify pre-impoundment accretion and carbon dynamics, and assess current sediment deposition rates via 14C analyses within sediment cores and sediment collection tiles. Carbon accumulation and accretion rates of modern tidal sediment have reached that of the tidal relic benchmark and current sediment deposition rates are similar between the natural reference and restored tidal wetlands. At this site, the pattern of legacy sediment accumulation and stream incision was reversed relative to previous studies in higher gradient systems. Results suggest in dam impacted Coastal Plain streams, legacy sediment may become a benefit rather than a liability for downstream tidal wetlands.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

8-9-2017

Available for download on Tuesday, August 09, 2022

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