Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

M. Eng.


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Committee Chair

Parola, Arthur C.


Stream channelization--Appalachian Region


Channel modification has played a vital part in shaping the rivers and streams as they are seen today. Channel modifications range from the construction of dams and levees for flood control purposes to channelization of an existing meandering stream. The study described herein was formulated as an attempt to quantify channelization in the Appalachian Highlands physiographic region of the United States. While channelization was widespread throughout the eastern United States, the efforts of this study focused solely on the aforementioned physiographic region. From the given study area, 750 randomly selected study sites were chosen by use of a two-stage random sampling technique. Criteria were established for site analysis to ensure consistency throughout the classification process. Selected grids, upon analysis, were placed into one of five categories: Potentially Modified, Potentially Affected by Downstream Modification, Confined, No Modification Detected, and No Stream. Potentially modified streams proved to be surprisingly characteristic of the region as a stream lacking signs of modification was rarely found (1.06 % of sampled area). As applied to the overall study area, the results of this study suggest that over 70% of perennial streams with a drainage area of less than 13 square miles have been previously modified in the past. Data to present these findings, as well as the methods to retrieve said data, are presented herein.