Murray State University

Poster Title

The Factors Controlling the Growth of the Ledbetter Embayment Mudflat, Kentucky Lake Reservoir

Institution

Murray State University

Abstract

The Ledbetter embayment mudflat of the Kentucky Lake Reservoir in western Kentucky has been actively growing for over half a century. This study is focused on identifying the factors that contribute to a growing reservoir environment as well as documenting the growth rate of such an environment. The project is aimed at learning more about the interaction between physical, geological, and biological aspects of the mudflat. A major research objective is to determine whether the growth of the mudflat is episodic, as a result of flood and stream events, or if the growth of the mudflat is steady and constant over time. The project is investigating how water movement and vegetation growth move and hold the sediment, and how the sediment types, accumulation, and flow affect the shape and growth of the mudflat. The potential significance of this research lies in the creation of a database about similar environments in reservoirs. Such a database does not exist for the Kentucky Lakes region currently. Research methods include stratigraphy analysis, mapping of the mudflat using GPS technology and ArcMap software, and ground and aerial photograph analysis. Aerial photograph analysis will play a large part in helping to determine the factors that influence the changes in the mudflat, as well as set the foundation for a comprehensive database about reservoir embayments.

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The Factors Controlling the Growth of the Ledbetter Embayment Mudflat, Kentucky Lake Reservoir

The Ledbetter embayment mudflat of the Kentucky Lake Reservoir in western Kentucky has been actively growing for over half a century. This study is focused on identifying the factors that contribute to a growing reservoir environment as well as documenting the growth rate of such an environment. The project is aimed at learning more about the interaction between physical, geological, and biological aspects of the mudflat. A major research objective is to determine whether the growth of the mudflat is episodic, as a result of flood and stream events, or if the growth of the mudflat is steady and constant over time. The project is investigating how water movement and vegetation growth move and hold the sediment, and how the sediment types, accumulation, and flow affect the shape and growth of the mudflat. The potential significance of this research lies in the creation of a database about similar environments in reservoirs. Such a database does not exist for the Kentucky Lakes region currently. Research methods include stratigraphy analysis, mapping of the mudflat using GPS technology and ArcMap software, and ground and aerial photograph analysis. Aerial photograph analysis will play a large part in helping to determine the factors that influence the changes in the mudflat, as well as set the foundation for a comprehensive database about reservoir embayments.