Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Natural Resource Ecology and Management


Sustainable Agriculture

First Advisor

Richard C. Schultz

Second Advisor

Thomas M. Isenhart


Sediment can cause great harm to aquatic habitats and is arguably the most pervasive and costly form of water pollution in North America. There is a growing consensus in the literature that stream bank erosion is almost always a significant source of stream sediment, and in many instances, it is the dominant source. The first study in this thesis examines how land use, stream order, and season impact stream bank erosion in the Central Claypan Region of NE Missouri. This study used a three-year data set based on the erosion pin method. Season effects were statistically significant with much larger amounts of erosion occurring during the winter than during spring/summer or summer/fall. The second study investigates the impacts of different types of vegetation and various watershed characteristics on stream bank erosion. Erosion data was used in conjunction with riparian area vegetation survey data and watershed data calculated with a Geographic Information System, in order to examine trends and relationships. The variables used in this study were not good predictors of the observed variation in bank erosion. Finally, the third study investigates the applicability of two procedures used by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for estimating bank instability for use in the Central Claypan Region of NE Missouri. We found that the results of these methodologies did not reflect the wide range of actual erosion rates that have been recorded in the study area.


Copyright Owner

Rachel Peacher



Date Available


File Format


File Size

81 pages