Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Channel and floodplain change analysis over a 100-year period: Lower Yuba River, California

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Open Access permissions



S. Ghoshal, L.A. James, Michael B. Singer, R. Aalto


Hydraulic gold mining in the Sierra Nevada, California (1853–1884) displaced ~1.1 billion m3 of sediment from upland placer gravels that were deposited along piedmont rivers below dams where floods can remobilize them. This study uses topographic and planimetric data from detailed 1906 topographic maps, 1999 photogrammetric data, and pre- and post-flood aerial photographs to document historic sediment erosion and deposition along the lower Yuba River due to individual floods at the reach scale. Differencing of 3 × 3-m topographic data indicates substantial changes in channel morphology and documents 12.6 × 106 m3 of erosion and 5.8 × 106 m3 of deposition in these reaches since 1906. Planimetric and volumetric measurements document spatial and temporal variations of channel enlargement and lateral migration. Over the last century, channels incised up to ~13 m into mining sediments, which dramatically decreased local flood frequencies and increased flood conveyance. These adjustments were punctuated by event-scale geomorphic changes that redistributed sediment and associated contaminants to downstream lowlands.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1797-1825
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2010

    Research areas

  • Fluvial geomorphology, Change detection, Channel migration, DEM differencing, Hydraulic mining sediment, Floodplain morphology

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by journal

  1. Surveying drifting icebergs and ice islands: deterioration detection and mass estimation with aerial photogrammetry and laser scanning

    Crawford, A. J., Mueller, D. & Joyal, G., 8 Apr 2018, In : Remote Sensing. 10, 4, 26 p., 575.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Glacier mass loss during the 1960s and 1970s in the Ak-Shirak range (Kyrgyzstan) from multiple stereoscopic Corona and Hexagon imagery

    Goerlich, F., Bolch, T., Mukherjee, K. & Pieczonka, T., 16 Mar 2017, In : Remote Sensing. 9, 3, 275.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Structure-from-motion using historical aerial images to analyse changes in glacier surface elevation

    Mölg, N. & Bolch, T., 3 Oct 2017, In : Remote Sensing. 9, 10, 1021.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Remote sensing for characterisation and kinematic analysis of large slope failures: Debre Sina landslide, Main Ethiopian Rift Escarpment

    Kropacek, J., Varilova, Z., Baron, I., Bhattacharya, A., Eberle, J. & Hochschild, V., 2 Dec 2015, In : Remote Sensing. 7, 12, p. 16183-16203 21 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 2602644