Seasonal Variation of Mud Floc Sizes in Two Small Freshwater Streams

dc.contributor.authorDelay, Lailee Alenaen
dc.contributor.committeechairStrom, Kyle Brenten
dc.contributor.committeememberHester, Erich Todden
dc.contributor.committeememberHession, William Cullyen
dc.contributor.departmentCivil and Environmental Engineeringen
dc.description.abstractFlocculation is not only an important part of sediment dynamics within coastal marine waters, but is also a factor of sediment transport within small freshwater streams in Blacksburg, Virginia. The goal of this project was to develop a relationship between floc sizes and stream characteristics (temperature, salinity, chlorophyll-a, organic content, TSS, pH) and to compare how that relationship varies seasonally and spatially across two streams in the same watershed with a similar drainage area but different land uses within these areas. Microscopic images of flocs and water samples were taken within two local streams every two to four weeks throughout the span of one year. The images were analyzed to obtain the floc sizes and the water samples were tested in a lab for various stream properties. The compiled data from the entire year were analyzed to determine if there was a seasonal relationship between floc sizes and the various properties of the water. The process was also repeated at multiple locations along the entire length of both of the streams once in the summer and once in the winter to see if there was a spatial relationship within a single stream. Our study found that significant rainfall events tend to have the greatest effect on floc size in the small headwater streams. However, many of the individual variables alone do not correlate strongly with floc size and a combination of variables may be the best way to analyze the floc size.en
dc.description.abstractgeneralFlocculation is the process of single particles coming together to form larger aggregated particles called "flocs". This project focuses on flocculation of sediment within local streams and how the sizes of these flocs may vary throughout the year. The rate of flocculation and the size of these flocs can have a large effect on the movement of sediment within freshwater streams. Images of flocs and water properties such as water temperature, salinity, and pH, were analyzed every two to four weeks throughout the span of a year to determine if there was a relationship between floc size and any of the measured water properties. While a relationship between rainfall and floc size was noticed, it is apparent that multiple variables should be factored into the analysis to get the most accurate results.en
dc.description.degreeMaster of Scienceen
dc.publisherVirginia Techen
dc.rightsIn Copyrighten
dc.subjectIn-situ Floc Observationen
dc.subjectFloc Seasonalityen
dc.subjectcohesive sedimenten
dc.titleSeasonal Variation of Mud Floc Sizes in Two Small Freshwater Streamsen
dc.typeThesisen Engineeringen Polytechnic Institute and State Universityen of Scienceen


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