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Open Access Publications from the University of California


The Water Resources Collections and Archives (WRCA) was founded in 1957 when a special act of the California Legislature established the California Water Resources Center to function as a University-wide organized research unit dealing with the state's water resources problems. UC Berkeley coastal engineers and professors Morrough P. O'Brien and Joe W. Johnson are primarily responsible for establishing the Archives on the Berkeley campus. The Archives focuses on collecting material pertinent to California and the West. The collection consists of over 135,000 technical reports, 1,500 specialized newsletters, 5,000 maps and videos. Many of these materials are unique and cannot be found elsewhere. WRCA's holdings are represented in the Melvyl Catalog and the Online Archive of California.

Water Resources Collections and Archives

There are 175 publications in this collection, published between 1964 and 2013.
Hydrology (79)

Changes in Flood Management along the Pajaro River: A Transition to Watershed Management Approaches and Lessons from the Water Framework Directive and Flood Directive

Flood management planning by the Army Corps of Engineers (Army Corps) on Pajaro River and Correlitos Creek changes from the first levee design in 1945 to the most recent planning actions in 2004 as reflected in flow calculation and project design. The scope of project objectives expanded from the initial flood control project to the more recent whole watershed management study. The Pajaro River experience reflects the trend in flood management from 1945 to current day from single objective engineering methods to regulate flood flows in specific reaches of the river to a more holistic watershed management approach with multiple objectives. The European Union’s Water Framework Directive and Flood Directive are models for multi objective planning, which work together to improve rivers and streams to good ecological status. By looking to the previous channel restoration occurring in the European Union, and the influence of the good ecological status requirement of the WFD and FD, Pajaro River can incorporate some of the multiple objective planning measures currently being implemented in the European Union.

Distribution of bed sediment on Clear Creek after removal of Saeltzer Dam

Saeltzer Dam was removed from Clear Creek in October 2000 to restore ten miles of upstream habitat access to spring run chinook salmon and steelhead trout. Since the dam removal, an estimated 50,000 cubic yards of sediment has eroded from the banks and channel at the former dam site. Some of the eroded sediment has been deposited downstream on Renshaw’s Riffle, a stretch formerly known for its spawning habitat, aggrading the bed up to 2.5 ft. To evaluate characteristics of the sediment deposition, we performed roughly 60 pebble counts and created a facies map for a 1.43 mi stretch downstream of the former dam site. We created maps in ArcMap GIS using the data to depict changes in gravel bar location, the d50 (the size at which 50% of the pebbles are finer) and the composition of percent-finer-than-8 mm material for each pebble count along the length of our study area. Five pebble counts were performed at transects in Renshaw’s Riffle, at sites with existing cross-sectional data. We found that finer-than-8 mm sediments comprise over 20% of the substrate in parts of the riffle. An earlier facies map was created in 2001 by visual assessment, but we were unable to compare our results due to incompatible methods. We hope the pebble count serves as an easily replicable method from which to compare future surveys of the area.

  • 1 supplemental file
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Restoration of Rivers and Streams (LA 227) (73)

Channel response to Dam Removal, Clear Creek, California

Clear Creek drains 720 km2, joining the Sacramento River south of Redding, California. The 4.6-m high Saeltzer Dam blocked upstream migration of chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) since it was built in 1912 to divert water for irrigation. Saeltzer Dam was removed in 2000 to restore anadramous fish access to upstream reaches. Before the dam was taken down, 19,000 m3 of sediment stored behind the dam was mechanically removed, but substantial deposits remained. A 2001 survey (Stillwater Sciences and University of California Davis 2001) detected little change over the 2001 flow season (peak flow 35 m3s-1). We resurveyed the channel in 2003 (peak flow 130 m3s-1). Our survey documented post 2001 incision of more than 1 m, over about 320 m upstream of from the former dam site to an active headcut, and lateral erosion of 15-18 m, for total erosion of over 39,750 m3 from the former reservoir deposit. The incision has led to desiccation of riparian trees (mostly Alnus spp.), with over 50 trees visibly dead or dying. Lateral bank erosion has also removed many trees.

Cerrito Creek step-pools: An opportunity for restoration and education at Blake Garden

The focus of this proposal is to examine relevant creek restoration research and existing restoration projects and to apply the resulting knowledge to the specific conditions at Blake Garden to develop a conceptual model for the restoration of this section of Cerrito Creek. This proposal builds on goals and data that were compiled as part of a prior student restoration proposal. A literature review, case studies, interviews and a site survey provide data about the restoration of similar creeks, future visions for Cerrito Creek and existing creek conditions. Based on the compiled data, a system of step pools is recommended to restore channel stability in this reach of the creek. Channel geometry is based on a restoration model with similar characteristics, Baxter Creek in Pointsett Park. Step pool geometry is determined using a ratio between step height, length and channel slope. Channel visibility and physical access are revealed as important aesthetic concerns. Recommendations are summarized in a conceptual design proposal that integrates the restoration objectives with the existing site conditions.

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Working Papers (5)

Sustainable Development: Physical and Moral Issues

Sustainable development gradually becomes an important concept embedded in many societal activities including economy, politics and perhaps even regulations. Sustainability is now a growing concern of businesses, governments, civic groups and individuals. These concerns are often linked to energy efficiency, reduction of environmentally harmful emissions, ecosystem preservation and other "save the Earth" efforts. They are becoming a part of a "triple bottom line" for business accounting: financial, social and environmental. Despite its increasing importance, current definitions of "sustainability" are somewhat vacuous. This paper presents a possiblity to characterize sustainability in terms of system theory and chaotic dynamics with strong links to to moral and ethical issues.

Entropy and Energy: Toward a Definition of Physical Sustainability

Sustainable development is a growing concern expressed by many businesses, organizations and individuals. Yet, no workable quantifiable definition of sustainability is available for evaluation of specific projects or operations. This paper attempts to set a framework for such a definition in terms of the first and second law of thermodynamics. Specifically, the proposed description of sustainability relates the fundamental processes of chemical, physical or biological transformation, and mass transport to energy and entropy changes. Unlike previous applications of these concepts, the proposed definition is focused on the smallest unit operations and processes while allowing for aggregation into larger systems. The proposed description also explicitly considers the time horizon for sustainability. An example of sustainability analysis for a water treatment process is included.

Membrane Bioreactors: Past, Present and Future?

A brief description of membrane bioreactor (MBR) historical evolution has been presented with emphasis on continual decline of treatment costs and energy requirements. Although MBR can operate at biomass (MLSS) concentrations 5 to 10 times higher than activated sludge these concentrations are limited in practice by increasing biomass suspension viscosity that in turn increases “reversible” membrane fouling and decreases oxygen transfer rates. “Irreversible” fouling is a major operational challenge since it depends on subtle interactions of membranes with various fractions of soluble microbial products resulting from microbial metabolism.

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Hydraulic Engineering Laboratory Reports (18)

Tsunami Information Sources: Part 3

This is Part 3 of the report. As in Tsunami Information Sources: Part 2, it has two components. They are: 1.(Sections A and B). Sources added since the first two reports, and corrections to a few listed previously. 2.(Sections C and D). References in Sections A and B (and a few from the earlier report that were not so listed), that can be classified in one of the following two categories: Section C. Planning and engineering design for tsunami mitigation/ protection; adjustments to the hazard; damage to structures and infrastructure Section D. Tsunami propagation nearshore; induced oscillations; runup/inundation (flooding) and drawdown

Recent Sediments of the Central California Continental Shelf, Pigeon Point to Sand Hills Bluff: Part A -- Introduction and Grain Size Analysis

The following work is part of a continuing study of the sediments and sedimentary processes of the continental shelf of central Califor nia done in cooperation between the University of California, Berkeley, and the Coastal Engineering Research Center, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. Sediment analyses of the samples were done at the Univer sity of California, Berkeley, utilizing the facilities of the Depart ments of Civil Engineering and Geology and the Institute of Marine Resources. The results of this study will be presented in three separate reports:

Part A Introduction and Grain Size Data (this volume) Part B Mineralogical Data Part C Interpretation and Summary of Results

The first two reports, Parts A and B, will be presented with little or no interpretation. In Part C the authors' interpretation of the data plus background information and previous work in the study area will be given.

The area covered by this report extends from Pigeon Point in the north to Sand Hill Point in the south. With the completion of this report a complete section of the continental shelf of California from Russian River to Monterey Bay will have been studied. The methods of sediment analysis employed in the overall study are grain size analysis followed by heavy mineral analysis and interpretation.

Recent Coastal Sediments, Double Point to Point San Pedro, California

This study seeks to examine patterns of longterm sediment movement along a portion of the California coast centering around the mouth of San Francisco Bay. Naturally-occurring heavy minerals were used to trace the influence of the several sources of sediments. Surface samples were collected from beaches and from t~e 8djacent portion of the shelf under less than 130 feet of water. The samples obtained were analyzed mechanically.and petrographically. Six petrographic provinces were differentiated on the basis of physical and mineralogical properties.

It was found that sands south and west of the Golden Gate in less than 60 to 100 feet of water reflect the mineralogy of San Francisco Bay sedim~nts, a"d samples from the mollusk-rich Bolinas Bay and adjacent areas to the north and west contained large amounts of aragonite. Sediments in 60 to 100 feet of water west of the Golden Gate are unusually high in hornblende and sediments in more than 100 feet of water are somewhat higher in minerals of the Franciscan Formation than 3ed~ments closer to the coast.

It is concluded from this information that the San Francisco Bay Ear and adjacent sediments south and west of the Golden ~ate have been derived principally from San Fran~isco Bay, gnd that sediments in the Bolinas fay area are derived in large part from the decomposition of shells of modern marine organisms. The areas in 60 to 100 feet of water and greater than 100 feet of water do not appear to have any modern sources of sediment and are interpreted as relicts of features developed during lower stands of sea level.

Similarities between sediments in more than 100 feet of water in this area and sediments in the same environment to the north of the area studied suggest a less complicated distribution of sediments and perhaps extensive longshore transport of sediments during this lower stand of sea level. The distribution of recent sediments near the coast in the area studied indicates that longshore transport is now only of limited, local importance.

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