Sediment and Erosion Projects

Mitigating Trail Erosion at SSU'S Fairfield Osborn Preserve

2014 - present: Use of hiking trails can increase erosion, soil compaction, and tranmission of Sudden Oak Death pathogen Phytophthora ramorum from surface runoff. We conducted a survey to identify sections of trail at the Fairfield Osborn Preserve with excessive erosion. We selected the worst sections of trail to establish best management practices and evaluate their effectiveness..


Freshmen studies in erosion and sedimentation

2015-16: A Watershed Year is a freshman year experience that introduces students to local watersheds as they learn about science. The course focuses on teaching students how to conduct their own research. Course development was funded by National Science Foundation (PI: Lynn Stauffer).


Long-Term Erosion Monitoring in the Copeland Creek on the SSU Campus

2017-present: The unusually wet 2016-17 rainy season eroded streambanks and deposited sediment on three monitoring transects on the SSU campus portion of Copeland Creek.

  • Faculty: Jackie Guilford (Center for Environmental Inquiry)
  • Partners: SCWA, Center for Environmental Inquiry
  • Students: Water Research Internship Training
  • Results: DeSilva et al. 2017 (poster 48 Mb) - Analysis of Autolevel Transects Along Copeland Creek

student Jason Manley using a transit to measure creek profiles

Long-Term Erosion Monitoring in the Copeland Creek Headwaters

2012-present: Due to the erosive geology in the headwaters of Copeland Creek, the tiny watershed (only 5.1 square miles) produces an astonishing amount of sediment. How much sediment is coming from the headwaters and where does it come from?

  • Faculty: Michelle Goman (Geography), Jeff Baldwin (Geography)
  • Partners: SCWA, Center for Environmental Inquiry
  • Students: GEOG 360: Geomorphology, GEOG 490: Geography Senior Seminar
  • Results: click on title of project above

Sedimentary Analysis of the Sag Pond at Fairfield Osborn Preserve

Spring 2014: Stratigraphy of a sag pond at the Fairfield Osborn Preserve provides information about landslide occurrences, environmental changes, and fire history in the upper Copeland Creek watershed.

  • Faculty: Michelle Goman (Geography)
  • Partners: Center for Environmental Inquiry

student using a tree core to sample oak trees at the Fairfield Osborn Preserve

Dendrochronology, Landslides and Climate Change in the Copeland Creek Headwaters

2014: Tree ring analyses at the Fairfield Osborn Preserve provide information about forest stand age and the frequency of landslides and fire.

  • Faculty: Michelle Goman (Geography)
  • Partners: SCWA, Center for Environmental Inquiry, Steve Norwick Memorial Fund

Copeland creek on its alluvial fan

Sediment Loads From Copeland Creek Alluvial Fan

2012: How much of the sediment in Copeland Creek originates from the alluvial fan area? What methods can we develop to measure the amount and kind of sediment from the upper watershed and alluvial fan areas?

  • Faculty: Jeff Baldwin (Geography)
  • Partners: SCWA
map of landslides in the copeland creek watershed

Sedimentation Rates in the Upper Watershed, Fairfield Osborn Preserve Marsh

Fall 2012: A marsh at the Fairfield Osborn Preserve has been gradually filling with sediment. Students quantified rates of sedimentation and successional infilling by dating cores taken from the marsh.

  • Faculty: Michelle Goman (Geography)
  • Partners: SCWA

Rhonert Park during 2005 Flood

Documentary Evidence for Extreme Flood Events in the Russian River Watershed

2012 - present: Geography students investigate documentary evidence for flood impacts on the Russian River mainstem over the last 100 years. Working in groups, they translate documentary evidence into maps showing levels impact. 

  • Faculty: Michelle Goman (Geography)
  • Partners: SCWA