The effects of freeze-thaw processes on river bank erosion in the White Clay Creek watershed of Delaware and Pennsylvania.

Authors: Troy Saltiel*, University of Delaware, Zachary Cannon, University of Delaware, Michael A O'Neal, University of Delaware, James E Pizzuto, University of Delaware, Brian Hanson, University of Delaware
Topics: Cryosphere, Remote Sensing, Spatial Analysis & Modeling
Keywords: freeze-thaw, cryosphere, photogrammetry, remote sensing, surface processes, Delaware, Pennsylvania, erosion
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download



The effects of freeze-thaw processes contributing to river bank erosion are poorly studied in temperate climates. In our mid-Atlantic field study, we monitored two river banks with shallow surface temperature probes over 18 months and we recognized repeated annual cycles of freeze-thaw with rapid temperature flux. At field sites, we observed needle, segregated, and pore-space ice on riverbanks in the White Clay Creek of Pennsylvania and Delaware, which contribute to sediment erosion. In an attempt to quantify sediment flux, we applied photogrammetry techniques to attain the Digital Elevation Model of Difference (DoD) between freeze-thaw cycles. Preliminary results indicate we have significant freeze-thaw events with centimeter-scale retreat and a reliable mechanism to model the sediment flux. To confirm repeatability of our photogrammetry methods, we collected two data sets back-to-back at the same location. Erosion pins also located at the site support measured flux in our models. The results are significant for environmental analysis and remediation, where erosion may contribute to transport of contaminated soils.

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