Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (774 KB)

Title: Land Use Impacts on Fluvial Processes in the Nemadji Watershed

Author: Riedel, Mark S.; Verry, Elon S.; Brooks, Kenneth N.;

Date: 2002

Source: Hydrological Science and Technology 18(4):197-206

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: The Nemadji River drains 1100 km2 of eastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. Channel incision and mass wasting are natural responses to glacial rebound in this area and account for more than 95% of the annual sediment load. However, the clay and sand delivered by the Nemadji to Lake Superior has increased over the past 150 years. We researched land use history across the upper 520 km2 of the Nemadji River Watershed, surveyed channel characteristics, identified relic channels and employed dendrochronology to date floodplains and terraces. Results indicate that two episodes of channel incision began propagating through the Nemadji River and its tributaries. One associated with timber harvesting in the mid 1800's and another associated a large fire in 1894. Streams impacted by incision had increased slope, reduced sinuosity, increased entrenchment, and reduced width depth ratios. Subsequent erosion from steep banks, mass wasting, and upstream incision provides sediment and space needed for the reconstruction of stable channels. The new channels are similar to the relic channels and un-impacted streams. Historical increases in water yield, particularly bankfull discharge, initiated the channel incision. This occurred with the onset of basin scale land use conversion in the 1850's. Forest fires in 1894 and 1918 and agricultural land use conversion during the early 1900's initiated additional episodes of channel incision.

Keywords: watershed management, land use, forest hydrology, fluvial processes, sedimentation, geomorphology

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • This publication may be available in hard copy. Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
  • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact Sharon Hobrla, if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.



Riedel, Mark S.; Verry, Elon S.; Brooks, Kenneth N. 2002. Land Use Impacts on Fluvial Processes in the Nemadji Watershed. Hydrological Science and Technology 18(4):197-206


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.