characteristics ; interception and infiltration relations ; identification of preferred overland and channel flow routing techniques ; resistance to flow ...
Author: Mitchell R. Peters
Category: Aquatic habitats
Aquatic habitat quality is dependent on water quality, bed slope, water temperature, dissolved oxygen, substrate, vegetation, and hydraulic parameters in the stream system. The Riverine Community Habitat Assessment and Restoration Concept (RCHARC) is a methodology developed by the U.S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, Environmental Laboratory, to compare hydraulic parameters (depth and velocity) between natural, degraded, and restored channel reaches. The methodology is generally applied to alternate reaches in the same stream; therefore, the habitat quality variables must also be closely matched. RCHARC assumes that if the diversity of hydraulic and habitat quality parameters for a 'comparison standard' reach can be replicated in the stream restoration reach, then the aquatic habitat quality can be enhanced. The RCHARC Methodology has been successfully applied to large, warm-water rivers. The objective of this study was to Beta test the RCHARC methodology for its applicability to cold-water flood control channels. The results of the Beta test and analysis conducted at Rapid Creek, South Dakota, are reported herein. The field site selected for testing the RCHARC methodology was Rapid Creek, located in and adjacent to Rapid City, SD. Natural (comparison standard) and restored reaches were identified for comparison. Field crews were dispatched in June and October 1993 to collect field data during high- and low-flow conditions, respectively. Data collected included cross-sectional profiles, discharge, depth and velocity pairs, dissolved oxygen, water temperature, thalweg and water surface elevation profiles, suspended and bed-load samples, armor layer and substrate samples, and photographic documentation.