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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Utah Geological Association


Henry Mountains Symposium, 1980
Pages 177-183

Fluvial Processes in the Lower Fremont River Basin

William L. Graf


As a classic locality in American geomorphology, the Fremont River and the streams of the north flank of the Henry Mountains, Utah, offer an unusual research opportunity because of a lengthy history of prior research activities and a wealth of data from present environmental conditions. Work by Gilbert in the 1870s and Hunt in the 1930s provides baseline data for studies of change. Field measurements in 1979 at 88 sites show that the depth and width of arroyo cross sections vary allometrically and are related by a simple power function. The depth of arroyo cross sections is related by a multiple-term power function to the 10-year discharge and distance from the Fremont River. Estimates of tractive force based on the Duboys equation suggest that when the 10-year flood is considered, tributaries are more powerful than the Freemont River. Arroyo development has been the product of the processes of discontinuous erosion, catastrophic washout, headcut migration, piping, and mass movement. In general, channel erosion begun by a large flood in 1897 is continuing in 1979.

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