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Research Abstracts Online
January 2008 - March 2009

University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Institute of Technology
Department of Geology and Geophysics

PI: Lesley A. Perg
Co-PI: Karen B. Gran

An Integrated Sediment Budget for the Le Sueur River Basin, Minnesota

These researchers are developing an integrated sediment budget for the Le Sueur River basin in the Minnesota River watershed. The ultimate goal of this research is to support efforts currently underway by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to develop Total Maximum Daily Load allocations for reaches along the Minnesota River, tributary watersheds, and Lake Pepin. Supercomputing resources are used to store large spatial datasets used in the development and execution of the sediment routing model and facilitate data sharing between researchers.

The sediment budget will have several key elements. The group will create a complete budget, including detailed measurements of primary source contributors, movement in and out of storage, and sediment fluxes through the basin. The budget will specifically incorporate spatial scale, modeling watersheds from the scale of first-order basins up to the entire Le Sueur River basin (1,112 mi2). The budget will be based on two parallel approaches: a cosmogenic and fallout radionuclide budget to apportion sediment by sources, and a physical sediment budget utilizing in-field measurements, sediment gauging stations, and air photo analyses to determine sediment flux from the uplands through the watershed, including flux into and out of storage. The sediment budget will be linked to a network routing model, routing sand, gravel, and fines through the basin.

Group Members

Luam Azmera, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Florida International University, Miami, Florida
Patrick Belmont, Research Associate
Stephanie Day, Graduate Student
Noah Finnegan, Department of Earth and Planetary Science, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California
B. F. Hobbs, Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering, Whiting School of Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
Carrie Jennings, Adjunct Faculty Collaborator
Andrea Johnson, Graduate Student
Melissa Kenney, Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering, Whiting School of Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
Fukhrudin Khalif, Collaborator
J. Wesley Lauer, Department of Civil Engineering, Seattle University, Seattle, Washington
Assafa Melesse, Department of Environmental Studies, Florida International University, Miami, Florida
Gary Parker, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois
Ashley Thomas, Department of Environmental Studies, Florida International University, Miami, Florida
Enrica Viparelli, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois
Peter Wilcock, Department of Geology and Environmental Engineering, Whiting School of Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland