Thursday, May 7, 2009

Watts Branch, Walter and Merrits


From Earthmagazine.org, a nice piece on last year's controversial Science article by Walter and Merritts (links here)and its implications for restoration, with commentary from Peter Wilcock and Frank Pazzaglia.

Until now I wasn't familiar with Pazzaglia's work, but it looks very interesting.

I had strong feelings about the Walter and Merritts paper--I remember well, as a young river scientist working for the Missouri Department of Conservation, first seeing photos of Watts Branch, the model Leopold and others held up as a typical meandering stream. It didn't look right to me, incised and stripped of woody vegetation--probably grazed by cattle. I never thought it was a good study subject, certainly not to describe a typical unimpacted channel segment.

Here's the photo of Watts Branch, from Fluvial Processes in Geomorphology.

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