2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 2:45 PM


MARR, Jeff1, MARR, Jeff1, GRANT, Gordon2, TAL, Michal3, CAMPBELL, Karen4, SANDLAND, Travis5 and BENNETT, Karen6, (1)National Ctr for Earth-surface Dynamics, St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, 2 Third Ave. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414, (2)Forest Science Laboratory, United States Forest Service, Corvallis, OR 97331, (3)Geology & Geophysics, Univ of Minnesota, 310 Pillsbury Drive SE, Room 108, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0219, (4)National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics, St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, University of Minnesota, 2 Third Ave. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414, (5)Science Museum of Minnesota, 120 West Kellogg Blvd, Saint Paul, MN 55102, (6)Siuslaw National Forest, 4077 S.W. Research Way, Corvallis, OR 97339, kmc@umn.edu

In 2005, the Forest Service celebrated its 100th anniversary and was featured at the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Motivated by this opportunity to engage thousands of festival visitors with the agency's role in river research, the Pacific Northwest Research Station and the National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics (NCED) designed a 3-part exhibit on various aspects of river dynamics that was assembled on the National Mall. One model was a 25 foot research flume designed for experiments in river planform dynamics. Two experiments were conducted in the 25 foot flume over the 12 day festival run. The first experiment investigated the response of a vegetated meandering channel to sediment pulsing; the second involved the response of a braided system to the introduction of log-jams and woody debris during floods. Visitors learned about channel patterns, system disturbance, and sediment transport and were able to see how data is collected in experimental studies. A second model was of the Glines Canyon Dam on the Elwha River in the Olympic National Park. This interactive model was based on a larger experimental model at NCED. Visitors learned about sediment storage in reservoirs upstream of dams and the considerations in dam-removal of how this sediment will be delivered to the downstream river environment. The third component in the exhibit was a large sand and concrete stream table sculpted onsite to illustrate watershed processes. Here, again, visitors had a hands-on opportunity to explore the meaning of floodplains and the issues associated with human development near rivers. Public enthusiasm for all three exhibits was overwhelming, with many visitors returning daily to follow experimental progress. We will share preliminary research results from the experiments that were conducted on the mall and demonstrate the success of physical models for engaging the public in fluvial geomorphology and river management.