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WWRC 97-05jj
Changes in Channel Morphology and Riparian Mosaics on the Big Horn River, Wyoming


Three sets of aerial photographs (1954, 1975, and 1989) of the Big Horn River floodplain between Thermopolis and Worland, Wyoming, were analyzed and compared to determine temporal and spatial trends in channel characteristics and the riparian mosaic. Since flow regulation by Boysen Dam in 1952, the river morphology and riparian mosaic have changed. Channel width and area of active channel have decreased, but there has been no change in channel sinuosity. Changes in riparian mosaic included decreases in the riparian herbaceous plant community and non-vegetated bar areas, and increases in the amount of agricultural land and woody species canopy cover.

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