First Advisor

Martin Lafrenz

Term of Graduation


Date of Publication

Winter 3-6-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Geography






Optical radar, Fluvial geomorphology -- Oregon -- Sandy River Watershed, Dam retirement -- Oregon -- Sandy River Watershed, Erosion -- Measurement, Sedimentation and deposition -- Measurement



Physical Description

1 online resource (xiii, 295 pages)


Following the removal of Marmot Dam on the Sandy River, Oregon, several Lidar flights were flown over the area of the former reservoir. The resultant sequential DEMs permitted calculation of reach-scale volumetric erosion and aggradation following dam removal. This allows for change detection across the entire affected reach of the former impoundment rather than just at several cross sections. In the first year there was a net loss of blank sediment in the dewatered reach. Subsequent flights show continued degradation of 145,649 m3 as well as aggradation of 6,232 m3. Sediment transport reached quasi-equilibrium in 2012 with a net change of 65 m3. In addition, this technique allows the extraction of cross-section information which shows that the channel continues to be actively migrating in some areas while also being constrained by bedrock features from past volcanism in some reaches. This study further shows the capability of lidar to measure rates of aggradation and degradation for an entire river system instead of reach specific extrapolations and that repeat lidar flights can more than adequately assess the changing nature of entire stream reaches more rapidly and more cost effectively than traditional field techniques. In addition:

  • The utility of Lidar to do river management with repeat returns, having successive lidar acquisitions run on the watershed level will help us to gain insight into the correlation to precipitation events and geomorphological change in a given reach.
  • Lidar can be used to assess the validity of channel evolution models. Sequential runs of lidar can be used to adjust the overall effectiveness of current CEM's and create new ones that consider reach specific geomorphology.
  • Dam removal projects should incorporate initial lidar flights prior to removal and follow acquisitions based on known CEM's for the region and overall region-specific physiography.
  • Sequential lidar should be used for hazard mitigation and geohazards analysis with an acquisition timeframe that is appropriate for the region's physiography, geology, geomorphology and the return interval of the hazard being monitored.


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Persistent Identifier

Included in

Geomorphology Commons