Floodplain inundation dynamics of Sispey River, Alabama

Authors: Deepa Gurung*, University of Alabama
Topics: Water Resources and Hydrology
Keywords: hydraulic modeling, floodplain inundation, vegetation productivity
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Balcony K, Marriott, River Tower Elevators, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Floodplain inundation dynamics of Sipsey River, Alabama Deepa Gurung, Sarah Praskievicz, Luoheng Han, Carla Atkinson Department of Geography University of Alabama Abstract for Presentation Keywords: hydraulic modeling, floodplain inundation, vegetation productivity Floodplain inundation and extent is one of the reliable hydrologic predictors of floodplain productivity. Inundation has been associated with the increased vegetation vigor and it can alter the spatial distribution of habitat which is necessary to maintain the essential richness and biodiversity of the floodplains. While increased soil moisture can cause an increase in vegetation growth over large areas, very high flood frequency with prolonged inundation might reduce the growth vigor by increasing the plant mortality. This creates an accumulation of toxic substances from metabolism of anaerobic bacteria and plants, creating a higher resistance to root penetration and low oxygen conditions to which plants can adapt by hormonal regulation. This study uses hydraulic modeling to examine the relationship between the flows of various recurrence intervals and inundation extent along the floodplain of Sipsey River, Alabama. Sipsey River is considered one of the last free flowing river in Alabama; where the wetland vegetation along the river has been acting as a buffer to prevent an unwarranted logging across the river bank. This study helps to collect the baseline inundation dynamics of the region which could be brought into environmental flow assessments as well as be used for developmental projects on water resource management and floodplain restoration.

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