Wadeable Stream Habitat Monitoring at Ocmulgee National Monument

Authors: Christopher Cooper*, National Park Service Southeast Coast Inventory and Monitoring Network, University of Georgia, Jacob M. McDonald, National Park Service Southeast Coast Inventory and Monitoring Network, University of Georgia , Eric N Starkey, National Park Service Southeast Coast Inventory and Monitoring Network
Topics: Remote Sensing, Coastal and Marine, Hazards, Risks, and Disasters
Keywords: GIS/Remote Sensing, Surveying, Geomorphology, Stream Ecology, Natural Resource Management, National Park Service, Ocmulgee National Monument
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Total station (easting, northing, elevation) and reach-scale survey data were collected at Ocmulgee National Monument (OCMU; Macon, GA) to characterize the in-channel habitat on a permanently monumented reach on Walnut Creek (OCMU001). These data, and analysis of remotely-sensed geographic information system (GIS) data, are presented to describe the watershed-, reach-, and transect- scale characteristics of OCMU001. OCMU001’s watershed (Walnut Creek) has low slope/relief and is covered mostly by forest and agricultural pasture. The major defining characteristics of the reach are the presence of floodplains, natural levees, lack of riffle habitat, and homogeneous channel slope. Though the majority of the watershed lies in the Piedmont, OCMU001 is a low energy environment which will continue being subjected flooding and slow post-flood draining. The channel surveyed at OCMU001 is smaller than expected, given the large size of its watershed. The small channel size is interpreted as evidence that the majority of flood waters that come through OCMU by way of Walnut Creek do not follow this flow path. Based on results of pebble counts, type/distribution of geomorphic channel units within the reach, and presence/absence of large woody debris, in-stream habitat within the surveyed stream was classified as ‘poor ’. These classifications are generalized interpretations of in-stream habitat and additional work is needed to determine how flow (e.g., flashiness of flow and baseflow conditions), water quality, and in-stream physical characteristics affect biodiversity and stream health. The results of this study provide the National Park Service with valuable information the condition of in-stream habitat atOCMU.

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