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Kasprak to Deliver Talk at Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center

posted Mar 11, 2015, 9:38 AM by Nate Hough-Snee

This Friday, GCMRC and SBSC are hosting Alan Kasprak who will give a seminar:

"Linking Sediment Transport and Channel Morphology in Braided Rivers"
Brown Bag Seminar
12:00 PM Friday, March 13th
Building 3 Conference Room (#367)

Alan is a PhD Candidate at Utah State University. Please see the abstract for his talk and his biosketch below.

Abstract: Channel form and sediment transport are closely linked in alluvial rivers. This seminar will focus on two research directions, both aimed at developing a better understanding of feedbacks between channel morphology and particle transport specific to braided rivers. The first portion of the seminar will detail a series of laboratory flume experiments that used fluorescent tracer particles coupled with ultra-high-resolution topography and digital elevation model differencing to link particle travel distances with in-channel geomorphic units. The findings underscore the importance of channel bars, particularly bar heads and bar margins, in acting as deposition sites for particles in transport. The second part of the seminar will upscale the results of flume experiments using numerical modeling. By simply modeling the kinematics of sediment transport using path length distributions that predict likely travel distances for particles in transport, we can develop efficient morphodynamic models for braided rivers. The open-source morphodynamic model presented here shows promise both as a validated predictive utility and as an experimental framework for exploring the effect of various process representations on resultant channel form. The results of this research point to fundamental form-process links in braided rivers, where simple relationships between channel morphology and sediment dynamics have long been hypothesized. The understanding gained from these relationships provides a way forward for efficient predictive models of channel evolution at event, annual, and decadal scales.
BioSketch: Alan Kasprak is a PhD Candidate in Utah State University’s Watershed Sciences Department, where he works with Dr. Joe Wheaton in the Ecogeomorphology and Topographic Analysis Laboratory. His dissertation focuses on understanding the relationship between sediment transport distances and channel morphology in braided rivers, and using that understanding to develop simple yet predictive morphodynamic models. More broadly, Alan’s research seeks to disentangle natural and anthropogenic drivers of geomorphic change in river systems using high-resolution topographic measurement and analysis techniques. Prior to his time at USU, Alan received a BS in Geology/Geophysics from Boston College, and a Master’s in Earth Sciences from Dartmouth College.