Abstract

We investigated the influence of debris-flow deposits and log jams on the location of pools and alluvial channel reaches in three Oregon Coast Range watersheds. Our surveys reveal differences in the type and location of log jams and the associated influences on pool formation and the extent of alluvial channel beds between channels flowing through old-growth and industrial forests. In channels we surveyed, debris-flow deposits formed 3% of log jams in reaches flowing through old-growth forest and 12% and 25%, respectively, in the two industrial forest channels. Pools formed by the direct effects of debris flows accounted for 4%–7% of all pools in reaches surveyed in both old-growth and industrial forest channels. Logs and log jams accounted for about half of the pools formed in old-growth reaches, but just 12%–13% of pools in reaches flowing through industrial forest. The distribution of bedrock and alluvial reaches was influenced by drainage area, channel-reach slope, sediment trapping by log jams, and boulders deposited by debris flows. Although debris-flow deposits can locally create or influence aquatic habitat, our field observations suggest general contrasts between old-growth and industrial forest in both log jam locations and the relative importance of debris-flow processes in the formation of pools and alluvial reaches.

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