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Disconnected RiversLinking Rivers to Landscapes$
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Ellen Wohl

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780300103328

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300103328.001.0001

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Thinking in Terms of Rivers

Thinking in Terms of Rivers

(p.256) Chapter 7 Thinking in Terms of Rivers
Disconnected Rivers

Ellen E. Wohl

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses the endangered rivers of the United States, and the actions required to save them. It reveals that rivers of the Lower Mississippi region were first heavily impacted by dramatically increased sediment yields from lands being cleared of natural vegetation for growing crops. River response to sedimentation prompted humans to undertake widespread channelization, construction of levees, clearing of logjams and naturally occurring wood, and destruction of riverside and floodplain habitats. Rivers of the Central region have been most altered by flow regulation and changes in sediment supply associated with dams, diversions, and channelization, and by contamination from agricultural runoff. The chapter discusses how the big rivers of the Southwestern Canyon region were most heavily affected by the construction of numerous large dams and the removal of water for off-stream agricultural and municipal uses during the twentieth century.

Keywords:   sediment, natural vegetation, crops, channelization, floodplain habitats

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