Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Watershed Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Peter Wilcock


Peter Wilcock


Jack Schmidt


Patrick Belmont


A river’s physical features and channel dimensions are determined by the water and sediment supplied to it. The Diamond Fork River, located in central Utah—received large trans-basin diversion flows from 1915-2003, providing an exceptional opportunity to explore the response of a river to a large increase in flow.

Our project goals were to describe 1) channel response to this large and long artificial flow augmentation and 2) how the channel recovered after the removal of the diversion flows. The objective of this thesis is to document the channel condition throughout the 20th century to present day as a basis for describing the impact of flow augmentation on channel change and for guiding future river management.

This work builds on the findings of (Jones, 2018) by adding resolution to the 20th century changes with additional historic air photos. We also add information on historic river channel elevation by studying locations that the river abandoned in the 20th century. We find the extent and nature of channel adjustment depends on whether the valley is narrow or wide. Floods larger than the diversion flows produced channel change followed by a recovery period that allowed the channel to narrow. After diversion flows were removed from the river in 2004, the river channel continues to narrow, form meander bends, and riverbank vegetation has begun to hold the channel in place.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.