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Experimental site 1 has two distinctly different regions - a lower open meadow and an upper forested section.  

The Meadow.  This site is a real gem, and quite possibly unique in Hardy County.  The stream is small and meanders extensively across a floodplain dotted with wetlands.  The floodplain is flat and broad for such a small drainage area, with fine alluvial soils - and those site characteristics put many visitors in mind of a landscape that beavers may have created centuries ago. 

The stream's banks are held in place by densely rooted wetland vegetation through much of it's length, but banks are often deeply undercut (natural for this kind of channel).  Over the course of this project, we have often observed the process of stream banks "calving" like icebergs, either slumping to the bottom of the channel or creating blowouts.  This process has certainly been exacerbated by the large number of high water events over the past two years, and many other streams in the area are showing the effects of frequent erosive flows.  There are often orphaned "islands" of sedges in the middle of the stream.  

The exotic nuisance Multiflora Rose is the bane of our existence at this otherwise gorgeous site. Multiflora has a major influence on this stream, as it occurs on the stream banks and often slumps into the stream channel - blocking the channel and creating diversions.  It appears that the virus that is striking it down in the region is beginning to take hold here as well.    

Meanders, meanders everywhere

A floodplain dotted with wetlands


High water events

Multiflora Rose - the bane of our existence


The stream section chosen for our project is 2100 ft long (stream length), with a valley length of 1443 ft.  The valley is very flat, with a slope of 2.5%.  Due to its meandering nature, the stream's slope of 1.7% is even less than the valley's slope.


Fifteen structures have been installed in the meadow section of Experimental Site 1, and can be viewed here, along with stream profiles at each structure.  Take a look at the profiles, and it becomes apparent that, even though the overall slope of the system is very shallow (graph above), that on a smaller scale the stream is a series of riffles and pools.  The riffle sections have relatively steep slopes that make them less suitable for structures  - that must raise the water level for as great a distance as possible - than the pool sections. This constraint, in addition to the frequent meanders and deeply undercut banks, limited the number of sites suitable for structure installation.


Cacapon Institute - From the Cacapon to the Potomac to the Chesapeake Bay, we protect rivers and watersheds using science and education.

Cacapon Institute
PO Box 68
High View, WV 26808
304-856-1385 (tele)
304-856-1386 (fax)
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Frank Rodgers,  Executive Director

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