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Scope/Content: Abstract: The removal of Birch Run Dam (Adams County, Pennsylvania) in 2005 was just one of more than 700 dam removals in the United States over the last ten years. The spike in dam removals has, to this point, not been met with sufficient scientific inquiry to understand the long-term impacts the projects have on the respective fluvial systems. Of the dam removal sites where post-project assessments were performed, many were completed over short time periods that did not include discharge events with a variety of return intervals. No post-project assessments were performed following the breach of the Birch Run Dam and restoration of the Conococheague Creek, thus the site represents an excellent opportunity to study the long-term geomorphologic effects of the removal of a medium-sized dam. In order to establish a long-term monitoring system, this research sought methods that are commonly used at other study sites to understand the evolution of the stream channel. In so doing the lessons from this research can be transferred to other study sites. Thorne's (1998) reconnaissance record sheets were chosen as a method for guiding field investigations and standardizing the record. Limited resources allowed for the establishment of two study reaches along the Conococheague Creek within the former impoundment. Through multiple field visits the information necessary to create a baseline of study on the restored Conococheague Creek was collected. The two study reaches were chosen to represent stream channels with distinctly different histories. The first reach was inundated by water during the life of the reservoir and then actively restored and the second reach is located in the former delta. The results from this research are tentative pending long-term study; however some conclusions can be drawn. The first reach appears stable although the presence of two erosional features requires further monitoring. The reach in the former delta is incised and disconnected from the floodplain. Extensive non-cohesive material in the former delta may prompt a different channel evolution than that predicted by channel evolution models (CEMs). Long-term monitoring of the site will help to explain the evolution of the stream channel. Post-project assessments are frequently missing from stream restoration projects, thus limiting the opportunity to learn from successes and failures at other projects. This research begins to fill that void in stream restoration science. Scope/Content: Author affiliation: Shippensburg University Scope/Content: Dam type: concrete Scope/Content: Dam type: earth fill Scope/Content: Reservoir size: 6800000 cubic meters. Height: 65 feet. Length: 700 Scope/Content: Date constructed: 1933. Date removed: 2005.
Pre- and post-project monitoring Dams Dam retirement
Conococheague Creek, PA Birch Run Dam Lat: 39, 55, 08; Long: -77, 27, 16