Sedimentation associated with forest road surfacing in a bottomland hardwood ecosystem
Access systems are a necessary element of resource production in bottomland hardwood sites. However, road building may have a detrimental effect on hydrologic function of the site. This report describes initial results of a study designed to examine the effect of different road surfacing treatments on water quality.
Four Surfacing treatments installed on two test roads included native soil, native soil with vegetative stabilization, 6cm of gravel, and 15cm of gravel over geotextile. During the first flooding season periodic sampling measured floodwater suspended sediments and location of erosion and sediment deposition within the road prism. Initial results suggest that sediment movement was confined to the road right-of-way, with no statistically significant sedimentation effects detected beyond the clearing limits of the road. The study is continuing for another field season.