PROF. PETER WILCOCK
Utah State University
Peter Wilcock specializes in erosion and sedimentation processes and their application to stream and watershed restoration and management. His research spans grain-scale mechanics, sediment-channel interactions at the reach scale, and the control and management of sedimentation at the watershed scale. Applications include channel restoration, reservoir and channel response to dam removal, and reservoir operations for downstream channel maintenance. He has worked in experimentation, field observation, and computer simulation of sediment systems and has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles. Dr. Wilcock provides expert and litigation consultation to industry and government agencies. Dr. Wilcock received his PhD in Earth Science from MIT in 1987. After serving on the faculty of the Whiting School of Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University for 27 years, he joined Utah State University to serve as Head of the Watershed Sciences Department in the Quinney College of Natural Resources from 2014 to 2020. Prof. Wilcock is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and received the Hans Albert Einstein Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers for outstanding contributions to the understanding of sediment transport in gravel-bed rivers. He hopes to spend 2021 marveling at the gravel-bed rivers of the Canterbury Plains.
River Channel Response to Changes in Water and Sediment Supply
We understand that river channels must adjust their composition, shape, slope, and pattern in response to changes in the supply of water and sediment. It is fair to say that this understanding is more acute after (rather than before) channel change has occurred. We will use principles of mixed-size sediment transport to update the classic concept of channel grade and its application to forecasting channel change. We will consider examples of extreme increases (followed by decreases) in water and in sediment supply to test the controls of channel response and evaluate our understanding.