Fishpot Creek in western St. Louis county is an Ozarkian drainage network that has relatively steep slopes and channels in which the underlying carbonate rock-chert strata are exposed. Coarse sediment dominates geomorphic processes. The watershed is heavily developed and channel instability and flooding problems are common.
Working with Intuition & Logic, the St. Louis County SWCD, and the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District, Little River Research & Design owner & principal Steve Gough played a key role in conceiving this project and writing the EPA 319 proposal that funded it. Total project budget was over $400,000. Innovative goals included demonstrating the use of fluvial geomorphology and watershed-scale analysis in urban stormwater design in order to change the civil engineering paradigm in the St. Louis region. The project included geomorphic reconnaissance of over 19 miles of channel in urban and suburban areas, analysis of development history, development of process-response models for channels, and conceptual design recommendations for stability and flooding problems in the watershed. LRRD conducted most of the field work and geomorphological analysis. Steve also guided engineering design for projects to be built based on his analysis. For this project, Steve designed and implemented innovative Global Positioning System-based data collection methods that mesh with ArcView Geographic Information System technology to efficiently organize, display, and analyze geomorphological data.
Better understanding of channel morphology and sediment transport processes has enabled improved bridge design.
Steve looked at coarse sediment dynamics at undersized bridge openings throughout the Fishpot Creek Watershed. His work showed that deposition and erosion processes were complex and probably aggravated flooding problems. Prior to Steve’s work, these processes had gone unrecognized despite extensive hydrologic modeling work.