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GranKB

Research Abstracts Online
January - December 2011

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University of Minnesota Duluth
Swenson College of Science and Engineering
Department of Geological Sciences

PI: Karen B. Gran

An Integrated Sediment Budget for the Greater Blue Earth River

For the past few years, these researchers have been developing an integrated sediment budget for the Le Sueur River in central Minnesota. The ultimate goal of this research was to support efforts currently underway by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to develop Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) allocations for reaches along the Minnesota River, tributary watersheds, and Lake Pepin. Supercomputing resources were used to store large spatial datasets used in the development and execution of the sediment routing model and facilitate data sharing between researchers. Although the Le Sueur River sediment budget project has been completed, this group is moving on to the Greater Blue Earth (GBE) River basin, of which the Le Sueur River is a part. They are implementing a collaborative project with the goal of developing a consensus for reducing sediment loading in the GBE watershed. They will develop: a sediment budget for the Greater Blue Earth watershed for background, current, and future conditions; a sediment simulation model responding to changes in land use, climate, and management actions; and decision analysis tools to evaluate alternatives for reducing sediment loading. At the heart of the project is a collaborative of local, state, and industry stakeholders with whom the researchers will apply the simulation model and decision tools in seeking management and monitoring actions most likely to produce detectable changes in sediment loading, guiding adaptive management. This will establish a basis for continued collaborative planning in the Minnesota River Basin. MSI resources will be used to store large datasets, including scanned and georeferenced aerial photographs and aerial lidar topographic data for the GBE watershed, and facilitate data exchange between researchers.

Group Members

Patrick Belmont, Research Associate
Stephanie Day, Graduate Student
B.F. Hobbs, Department of Geology and Environmental Engineering, Whiting School of Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
Carrie Jennings, Adjunct Faculty Collaborator
Andrea Johnson, Graduate Student
J. Wesley Lauer, Department of Civil Engineering, Seattle University, Seattle, Washington
Assafa Melesse, Department of Environmental Studies, Florida International University, Miami, Florida
Charles T. Nguyen, Staff
Gary Parker, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois
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