Project Advisor(s)

Dr. Reuben Heine

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Disciplines

Education | Geomorphology | Natural Resources and Conservation

Description, Abstract, or Artist's Statement

The Upper Mississippi River System has a significant trend in island loss due to river engineering structures. However, Lower Pool 18 is observed as a counterexample to the island loss pattern with its island development near Lock and Dam 18 during the past 80 years. This research is modeled after a study done in Lower Pool 6 of the Upper Mississippi River where an island development was found to contradict the island loss prevalence. The Lower Pool 18 research’s goal is to map, describe, and explain spatial patterns of islands growth, persistence and loss. Historical maps and aerial photographs of the islands, throughout the time period of before the lock and dams were implemented up until today, will be used as the main source of data. Visual analysis, descriptive analysis, and a preliminary explanation was completed to explain the spatial patterns of the islands’ morphology. Results have shown the spatial growth of the Lower Pool 18 islands to be significant as well as the pattern in which it occurs. Historic flooding levels and human engineering sources are possible contributors to this particular instance of island growth. These findings will aid river managers in future decision making on engineering and restoration plans. The results will also serve as another counterexample to the island loss pattern, and will result in a better understanding of the Mississippi River.

Comments

Geography Department Senior Inquiry

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Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Island Morphology in Lower Pool 18 of the Mississippi River

The Upper Mississippi River System has a significant trend in island loss due to river engineering structures. However, Lower Pool 18 is observed as a counterexample to the island loss pattern with its island development near Lock and Dam 18 during the past 80 years. This research is modeled after a study done in Lower Pool 6 of the Upper Mississippi River where an island development was found to contradict the island loss prevalence. The Lower Pool 18 research’s goal is to map, describe, and explain spatial patterns of islands growth, persistence and loss. Historical maps and aerial photographs of the islands, throughout the time period of before the lock and dams were implemented up until today, will be used as the main source of data. Visual analysis, descriptive analysis, and a preliminary explanation was completed to explain the spatial patterns of the islands’ morphology. Results have shown the spatial growth of the Lower Pool 18 islands to be significant as well as the pattern in which it occurs. Historic flooding levels and human engineering sources are possible contributors to this particular instance of island growth. These findings will aid river managers in future decision making on engineering and restoration plans. The results will also serve as another counterexample to the island loss pattern, and will result in a better understanding of the Mississippi River.