Restoration of Abandoned Meanders on the Middle Fork Forked Deer River, Tennessee

by B. J. Doeing, (M.ASCE),
R. A. Gaines,
W. A. Thomas, (M.ASCE),

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: North American Water and Environment Congress & Destructive Water


The Middle Fork Forked Deer River in western Tennessee historically had a sinuous course within a wide floodplain. In the early 1900's, local interests dug large straight segment canals through the floodplain. This channelization isolated the meanders and bendways of the natural river system. A restoration proposal has been evaluated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to restore flow to the old meanders. Restoration consists of reconnecting remnant meander channels and constructing weirs in the main canal to divert low flows into the old meanders. Seven restoration reaches along a 24 km (15 mi) length of the river were analyzed with computer models to determine the hydrologic, hydraulic, and sedimentation conditions before and after restoring flows to the old meanders. The computer program HEC-6T, Sedimentation in Stream Networks, which simulates hydraulics and sediment transport in the loops formed by the junctions of the old meanders with the main canal, was used to conduct a 50-year sediment routing simulation. The modeling results showed that the restoration proposal was hydraulically feasible if a sediment trap was placed at the upper limits of the project area.

Subject Headings: Ecological restoration | Computer models | Hydraulic models | Canals | Rivers and streams | Hydrologic models | Floods | Hydraulic properties | Tennessee | United States

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