Geomorphic insights regarding the Kissimmee River prior to major modification

Authors: Megan Black*, , Joann Mossa, University of Florida
Topics: Physical Geography, Environment
Keywords: Fluvial, geomorphology, geomorphic, river, restoration, physical, geography, sediment
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The Lower Kissimmee River has undergone many changes, including its channelization during the 1960s, and its restoration which began in 1999 and is slated for completion in 2019. This study uses historical data prior to the restoration to gain geomorphic insights into the historical character of the river prior to these modifications. Maps with depth recordings from 1901 developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under the direction of Captain Rees were used to construct a longitudinal profile, and the centerlines from these 1901 maps and 1950s aerial photography were compared to identify areas of geomorphic change. With these data sources, we document that the river was up to 10.4 m deep and can assess the spacing and amplitude of riffles and pools, and anomalous zones that might be due to either natural factors or zones of problematic data quality. From a planform perspective, backwater features were evaluated and mapped from both sources. Oxbow lakes close to the channel were mapped to identify probable early changes made by Hamilton Disston, and six cutoffs between 1901 and the 1950s were plotted to identify the number and spacing of natural cut-offs during this interval. These insights into the historic character of the river show its spatial variation and change prior to major disturbance, and can help with assessing the geomorphic recovery of restored portions of the river.

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