Spatial Patterns of Sediment Transport in the Upper Willamette River, Oregon
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The Willamette is a gravel-bed river that drains ~28,800 square kilometers between the Coast Range and Cascade Range in northwestern Oregon before entering the Columbia River near Portland. In the last 150 years, natural and anthropogenic drivers have altered the sediment transport regime, drastically reducing the geomorphic complexity of the river. The purpose of this research is to assess longitudinal trends in sediment transport within the modern flow regime. Sediment transport rates are highly discrete in space, exhibit similar longitudinal patters across flows and increase non-linearly with flow. The highest sediment transport rates are found where the channel is confined due to disconnection of the floodplain and the river runs against high resistance terraces. The spatial distributions of sediment transport rates and active gravel are tightly linked. Sediment sampling revealed slight downstream fining in the surface grain size. Sediment size did not correlate with stream power.