Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Changnon, David

Degree Name

M.S. (Master of Science)

Legacy Department

Department of Geography


Dams--United States--Design and construction; River channels--United States


Large river damming projects have given society many benefits such as recreation, navigation, cheap electricity, and some flood control. However, since rivers are part of a system, a change in one process creates changes in other processes. This research examines downstream channel width change after dam construction. Fifteen channels downstream from reservoirs were selected throughout the U.S. These channels have either widened or narrowed since dam construction. Variables examined can be characterized as belonging to reservoir sedimentation and reservoir geometry. Specifically, the variables considered were stream sediment concentration, ratio of reservoir storage to water supply, time of channel change, reservoir size, and reservoir shape. Results from several statistical analysis give a final model of downstream channel width change being a function of reservoir storage to water supply ratio and reservoir shape. The significance of this study is to give a better understanding of how dam construction of the past has changed downstream channel widths many years later. This information can be used by planners of future water projects as potential costs to the environment are estimated.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [58]-60)


vi, 73 pages




Northern Illinois University

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