Channel morphology of Cottonwood Creek near Cottonwood, California, from 1940 to 1985

Water-Resources Investigations Report 87-4251
By: , and 



Proposed construction of two dams on Cottonwood Creek California , has caused concern that resulting streamflow modification may alter downstream channel morphology. Baseline information on Cottonwood Creek channel characteristics from 1982-83 field surveys and 1940-84 aerial photographs indicates an alluvial channel that consists of a braided inner main channel within a broader flood channel, with no clear topographic break between the main and flood channels. The braided channel is subject to large and rapid position shifts in the flood channel, which meanders within the valley fill; however, the position of the flood channel has remained relatively stable since 1940. Mean slope of Cottonwood Creek is 0.0017 and that of South Fork Cottonwood Creek is 0.0020. Fluctuations of mean bed elevation appear to be random with no apparent long-term trend of aggradation or degradation. Mean bed-material size ranged from 3 to 82 millimeters. Low-flow channel sinuosity ranged from 1.04 to 1.47 from 1940 to 1984. Cumulative lateral migration for Cottonwood Creek decreased upstream, while for South Fork, it remained relatively constant. Net lateral migration was toward the right bank on Cottonwood Creek whereas no trend in net lateral migration is apparent for the South Fork. (USGS)
Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Channel morphology of Cottonwood Creek near Cottonwood, California, from 1940 to 1985
Series title Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number 87-4251
DOI 10.3133/wri874251
Edition -
Year Published 1988
Language ENGLISH
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey,
Description iv, 33 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.
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