Stream gradient changes of Dry Creek as indicated by Floodplain gradients

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The Ohio State University

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Dry Creek is a gravel bed stream that has undergone a shift from equilibrium. The result has been degradation that has eroded over two acres from the "Big Bend" on the Finney Farm near Newark in Licking County, Ohio. There are three factors that may cause upstream degradation, the lowering of the base level, a decrease in the river length, or the removal of a control point. All of these result in an increase in the local slope and result from excavation of bed material, lowering of the main river level, the cutoff of a meander, or the removal of a dam. At Dry Creek at least three modifications to the natural flow of the stream has occurred, excavation of bed material by a sand and gravel company, a meander cutoff downstream from the "Big Bend", and bank armouring upstream. The production of floodplain terraces and documentation of their gradients suggest an increase in the local slope of the stream since the start of gravel excavation.