Overview of Watershed and Channel Sedimentation

Overview of Watershed and Channel Sedimentation

This lesson provides an overview of the primary influences of watershed and channel sedimentation. In a short narrated portion of the lesson, we explore a section of the Rio Grande watershed and channel in New Mexico using Google Earth imagery, river profiles, and graphic animations. We highlight features of the upland catchments, the river channel, and the Elephant Butte Reservoir. We then demonstrate how environmental factors (climate, geography, land use changes, reservoirs) impact the supply and movement of sediments for the Rio Grande and other rivers. The focus is on the three primary processes in sedimentation: generation, transport, and deposition. The lesson then addresses natural climate and weather influences along with some observed and projected trends associated with climate change.