Fall 2020 Community News
Former WRC Visiting Scholar Alicia Sendrowski published Porosity problems: Comparing and reviewing methods for estimating porosity and volume of wood jams in the field in Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, July 30, 2020. Sendroski is co-author with Katherine Liniger, Natalie Kraer and Bridget Livers.
An important aspect of studying jams is measuring their porosity, or amount of void space in the jam. Smaller void space or less porous jams provide more resistance to flow that can strongly affect channel dynamics such as flooding extent and sediment transport. The work was inspired by field studies on large wood performed by the researchers over several years. Large wood enters streams through river bank erosion, where it may form large jams or accumulations along the channel or in the floodplain. An important aspect of studying jams is measuring their porosity, or amount of void space in the jam. Smaller void space or less porous jams provide more resistance to flow that can strongly affect channel dynamics such as flooding extent and sediment transport. These issues are especially important when assessing the impact of jams at structures such as bridges. Despite the importance of porosity to jam dynamics, no studies had critically reviewed or compared methods to measure porosity. The authors are excited to publish this work as it not only compares porosity estimation methods for several different types of wood deposition sites, but it also provides recommendations to other researchers allowing for greater transparency and clarity on jam porosities seen in the field.
Formerly a postdoc at Colorado State University and visiting scientist at the Water Resources Center at the University of Minnesota, Sendrowski is now a research associate at Michigan State University focusing on understanding hydrodynamics of coastal wetlands in river deltas and the Great Lakes and their influence on sediment, nutrient, and carbon cycling.