Changes in Cross-Section Geometry and Channel Volume in Two Reaches of the Kankakee River in Illinois 1959-94

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The upstream reaches of the Kankakee River in Indiana have been channelized, straightened, and ditched to facilitate agriculture; the downstream reaches of the river in Illinois have not been so altered. Concerns about the adjustments of this low-gradient river response to these disturbances have led to studies of sedimentation along the Kankakee River in Illinois. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) began study in 1992 to determine the sedimentation characteristics of the Kankakee River in Illinois. As part of this study, changes in channel cross-section geometry and channel volume were determined by comparing measures of the cross-section geometry over time in two reaches of the Kankakee River. The study documents some of the adjustments of the Kankakee River to land-use changes and channelization in the upstream drainage area. The timing magnitude and process of adjustment are of interest in developing a better understanding of how alluvial stream systems in agricultural areas respond to disturbances in the drainage area. The data used for the study include cross-section measurements made by two Statw of Illinois Agencies for 1959 to 1980 and measurements bade by the USGS in 1994.

The analyses indicated a net aggradation of about 133,600 cubic yards (yd^3) of sediment in the Momence Wetlands reach a naturally meandering reach of the river, from 1980-1994. Aggradation accused at 25 cross sections in this reach and scour occurred at 10 cross sections. All but one of the cross sections in the upstream third of the reach indicated aggradation, whereas aggradation and scour were found in the midle and downstream thirds of the reach. The magnitude of changes greatest in the middle third of the reach and was least in the downstream third of the reach.

A net aggradation of approximately 286,600 yd^3 of sediment was indicated for the Six-Mile Pool, a pooled reach of the river upstream from a dam, from 1978 to 1994. Approximately 182,900 yd^3 of sediment accumulated from 1980 to 1994 and approximately 115700 yd^3 of sediment accumulated from 1978 to 1980. Most of the aggradation accord in the middle third of the Six-Mile Pool reach.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.