Geomorphic Condition of streams in the Middle Fork John Day Watershed, eastern Oregon, USA

Feb 1, 2015
Uploaded by Gary O'Brien
Dataset was used in other reviewed publication
The Middle Fork John Day River (MFJDR) in eastern Oregon is an Intensively Monitored Watershed and is part of habitat status and trend monitoring through the Columbia Habitat and Monitoring Program (CHaMP). The Middle Fork John Day Watershed (MFJDW) supports Chinook salmon and steelhead, and numerous river restoration projects have been undertaken in the watershed to improve channel and riparian habitat. 

The MFJDW was the focus of a complete geomorphic assessment using the River Styles framework®. The River Styles framework employs a hierarchical scheme of river assessment that is “nested” on the scale of regional, watershed, river reach, geomorphic unit, and habitat or hydraulic unit features. This approach also encompasses the ecological setting at every scale of analysis. The River Styles framework includes four stages that build one upon the next, and and culminate in what can be used as a template for a strategic river management plan. 
We present three datasets representing Stages 1-3 of the River Styles framework as watershed-scale maps in the context of of the NHD (version 1, cartographic) streamline network. 
The second of three datasets shows geomorphic condition corresponding to River Styles throughout the Middle Fork John Day Watershed defined for ephemeral, intermittent and perennial streams. Geomorphic condition is a measure of deviation from the “natural or expected state” of any given stream reach. The natural or healthy state refers to the ability of a river to function as expected given its particular valley setting. The geomorphic condition further records the effects of limiting factors and pressures imposed by human land use. It is a key ingredient for determining reach recovery potential (river styles Stage Three), and eventually, the formation of strategic management plans.  Geomorphic condition is also the measure of a river’s capacity for adjustment, the potential to modify its channel shape, instream geomorphic units, and floodplain. Separate reaches of the same river style may display physical differences that are understood by comparing each one to a “reference reach”, the most suitable (and often, the most pristine) example found in the watershed.
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Gary R O'Brien and Joe M Wheaton
Ecogeomorphology and Topography Laboratory and Fluvial Habitat Center, Department of Watershed Sciences, Utah State University, 
Logan UT 84322-3000
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O’Brien, G.O., and Wheaton JM., 2015. River Styles® Report for the Middle Fork John Day Watershed, Oregon. Ecogeomorphology and Topographic Analysis Lab, Utah State University, Prepared for Eco Logical Research, and Bonneville Power Administration, Logan, Utah, 215 pp.

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Ecogeomorphology and Topography Laboratory and Fluvial Habitat Center, Department of Watershed Sciences, Utah State University, 
Logan UT 84322-3000
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Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License.
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About the Uploader

Gary O'Brien
Geomorphologist, Research Associate with Fluvial Habitat Center, Watershed Sciences Department, Utah State University

Gary O'Brien is a fluvial Geomorphologist who, over the past 20 years, has worked on several research projects related to modern rivers, and ancient alluvial and paludal records. Currently, he is a Research Associate working on classifying river types and developing restoration frameworks for...