Posts Tagged ‘esopus creek’

Monday’s Bankfull Flows

Posted on: December 4th, 2020 by Tim Koch

Mon­day Novem­ber 30th, 2020 was a rainy day in the Ashokan water­shed. A home rain gauge in Boiceville mea­sured approx­i­mate­ly 4 inch­es over the course of the day. 

In response to the sig­nif­i­cant pre­cip­i­ta­tion the Beaver Kill, Lit­tle Beaver Kill, Bushkill, and Eso­pus Creek at Cold Brook reached bank­full dis­charge. Bank­full dis­charge is the stream flow that com­plete­ly fills the chan­nel in a geo­mor­phi­cal­ly sta­ble stream. Any flow that exceeds bank­full will put water onto the adja­cent floodplain. 

Cross sec­tion of a geo­mor­phi­cal­ly sta­ble stream where the entire chan­nel is filled dur­ing a bank­full flow.

Streams that have berms or lev­ees, are incised, or oth­er­wise unsta­ble do not have such a clear rela­tion­ship between bank­full dis­charge and chan­nel geometry.

In the North­east, a bank­full or greater flow hap­pens once every 1.5 years, on aver­age. How­ev­er, “on aver­age” means that some years see mul­ti­ple bank­full events while oth­ers have none. Mon­day’s event was the sec­ond time in 2020 that the Lit­tle Beaver Kill has equaled or exceed­ed its bank­full dis­charge of 909 cubic feet per sec­ond (cfs).

2020 Hydro­graph of the Lit­tle Beaver Kill. From USGS.

Bank­full flow events are impor­tant because over time, these flows move more sed­i­ment than any oth­er dis­charge, larg­er or small­er. This is because bank­full flows hap­pen reg­u­lar­ly, every 1.5 years on aver­age, as opposed to big floods that move a lot of sed­i­ment but are more infrequent. 

Due to the geo­mor­phic impor­tance of bank­full dis­charge events, the AWSMP reg­u­lar­ly vis­its stream restora­tion sites, cul­vert replace­ment projects, and oth­er stream reach­es fol­low­ing bank­full events to take pho­tographs and mon­i­tor any changes observed in the channel. 

AWSMP staff from the Ulster Coun­ty Soil & Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict inspect a restora­tion site on Wood­land Creek fol­low­ing a bank­full flow in Novem­ber 2019. Pho­to by Tim Koch.

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Plein-air Streamside Painting Kicked Off Ashokan Watershed Month

Posted on: September 5th, 2019 by Tim Koch

Plein-air painting participants show off their work on the banks of the Esopus.

Plein-air paint­ing par­tic­i­pants show off their work on the banks of the Esopus.

Ashokan Water­shed Month offi­cial­ly kicked off yes­ter­day with the Plein-air Stream­side Paint­ing work­shop. Plein-air means “out­doors” in French, and yes­ter­day 16 par­tic­i­pants met at the Full Moon Resort in Big Indi­an to paint the Eso­pus Creek, en plein-air.

AWSMP Stream Edu­ca­tor Tim Koch kicked things off with a dis­cus­sion of the stream fea­tures in the scene and how stream process may inform paint­ing tech­nique. For exam­ple, pools are stream fea­tures with deep, flat water that read­i­ly reflect the sky and any over­hang­ing ripar­i­an veg­e­ta­tion. Rif­fles on the oth­er hand are shal­low and tur­bu­lent fea­tures where por­tray­ing move­ment is a key ele­ment of stream paint­ing. Many streams have repeat­ing rif­fle-pool sequences that cre­ate a visu­al­ly appeal­ing pat­tern — per­fect for painting.

AWSMP Stream Educator Tim Koch gets excited talking about stream features.

AWSMP Stream Edu­ca­tor Tim Koch gets excit­ed talk­ing about stream features.

Local artist and paint­ing instruc­tor Joyce Washor then led stu­dents through the con­cepts of lim­it­ed col­or the­o­ry, scene com­po­si­tion, per­spec­tive, and water col­or brush techniques.

Artist Joyce Washor demonstrates the "wet on wet" water color painting technique.

Artist Joyce Washor demon­strates the “wet on wet” water col­or paint­ing technique.

Using Joyce’s pen­cil sketch as a guide, each stu­dent brought the Eso­pus Creek scene to life in their unique way.

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Despite the threat of rain, a great time was had by all inte­grat­ing stream sci­ence and art.

Next up for Ashokan Water­shed Month is a pre­sen­ta­tion on Ashokan Reser­voir Oper­a­tions giv­en by Adam Bosch, Direc­tor of Pub­lic Affairs for the NYC DEP. This pop­u­lar talk will be held at the AWSMP Office on Mon­day, Sep­tem­ber 9th from 6–8pm. Vis­it AWSM­P’s Ashokan Water­shed Month web­page to register.

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