Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2021


Sediment loads in stream systems play a big role in how overall runoff behaves. Streams naturally transport sediment at various ratios depending on precipitation. When vegetation is removed in upstream environments, sediment loads on streams increase. Sudden increases of sediments in streams can cause many issues, such as flooding or stream re-direction. In Morehead, KY, large-scale logging operations on the ridge above Knapp Avenue and on the ridge above the north end of Allen Avenue have caused increased sediment load in a small stream called Oxley Branch. This stream flows south parallel to Knapp Avenue and along the eastern property boundary for the CHER building, before being channelized underground through the downtown district and emptying into Triplett Creek just upstream of Fast Change Lube and Oil on US-60. The entire area is flood-prone, and increased sediment load in Oxley Brach is known to cause sediment to build up in the underground section to the point that the stream is no longer able to drain effectively and flooding occur in upstream areas. This thesis examines the sediment loads and concentrations during high flow events along Oxley Branch as a means of elucidating potential flood risk.