Santa Maria River, AZ: Vegetation and channel form

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NCALM Seed, PI: Sharon Bywater-Reyes, University of Montana. Riparian vegetation and channel process and form are intimately linked in many rivers. Pioneer woody riparian seedlings recruit on river bars and alter hydraulics and sediment transport, thus changing bar morphology. Explanations of barform morphodynamics have emphasized the role of bar-induced convective accelerations, steering of the flow, and resulting effects on sediment. The influence of vegetation on bar evolution, however, has not been integrated into our current understanding of barform morphodynamics. This ALSM dataset was collected via an NCALM Seed Grant to quantify how vegetation (cottonwood and tamarisk) changes barform morphology, and how vegetation and related topography collectively influences barform morphodynamics. This research has implications for understanding how vegetation influences channel form.

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