Gary R O'Brien

Gary R O'Brien
Utah State University | USU · Department of Geosciences

MS Geology, Northern Arizona University

About

41
Publications
17,071
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Citations
Introduction
Gary R O'Brien is a researcher and geomorphologist with 20 years experience working on riverscapes. His projects have involved modeling in watersheds, paleoseismic mapping and analysis, with applications in process-based geomorphology, geochronology, geoarchaeology, and geochemistry. He currently works at the Department of Geosciences, Utah State University.
Additional affiliations
May 2013 - September 2015
Utah State University
Position
  • Research Associate (Geomorphologist)
January 2013 - February 2019
Utah State University
Position
  • Research Associate

Publications

Publications (41)
Article
Full-text available
The geologic and geomorphic template of Grand Canyon influences patterns in the archaeological record, including sites where apparent increases in erosion may be related to Glen Canyon Dam. To provide geoarchaeological context for the Colorado River corridor and such issues, we explore first-order trends in a database of field observations and topo...
Article
Full-text available
A geomorphic assessment of the Middle Fork John Day Watershed, Oregon, USA, was used to generate a hierarchical, map-based understanding of watershed impairments and potential opportunities for improvements. Specifically, we (1) assessed river diversity (character and behavior) and patterns of reach types (and their controls); (2) evaluated the geo...
Technical Report
Full-text available
SYNOPSIS A gravel-bed river flowing in the ancestral Pataha Creek began aggrading its bed after ~22,000 years ago, and continued filling the bedrock valley with fine sediments until after ~3,700 years ago. After reaching its current fill thickness, incision of the valley fill began, eventually reaching bedrock and exposing river gravels of the pre-...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The first comprehensive Geomorphic Assessment of the Lower White River, Utah and Colorado, including valley landform delineation, river reach typing, geomorphic condition, 80-year channel change record, results of riparian condition assessment (R-CAT), and case study scenarios of endangered fish and invasive vegetation removal.
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we demonstrate the application of a continuous confinement metric across entire river networks. Confinement is a useful metric for characterizing and discriminating valley setting. At the reach scale, valley bottom confinement is measured and quantified as the ratio of the length of channel confined on either bank by a confining marg...
Technical Report
Full-text available
KEY FINDINGS & RECOMMENDED RESTORATION STRATEGIES Background This report is part two of an assessment and planning process begun in 2016. The goal of the two reports was to determine the condition of streams, fish use, and factors limiting fish production (Part 1), and develop a framework for prioritizing restoration and develop a series of conce...
Technical Report
Full-text available
KEY FINDINGS & RECOMMENDED RESTORATION STRATEGIES Background We present a watershed assessment of four watersheds in the Asotin County Assessment Area (hereafter the study area): Alpowa Creek, Asotin Creek, Couse Creek, and Tenmile Creek. The Salmon Recovery Funding Board funded the assessment and the Asotin County Conservation District administere...
Data
This atlas, consisting of 9 plates accompanies and provides the basis for the article in Journal of Maps. It shows specific maps for each stage of a geomorphic assessment in the Middle Fork John Day Watershed, including reach types, geomorphic condition, recovery potential, and a strategic management plan.
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report is designed to summarize the lessons learned and policy implications from the implementation of Bonneville Power Administration’s (BPA) Integrated Status and Effectiveness Monitoring Program (ISEMP; BPA Project 2003-017-00) and the Columbia Habitat Monitoring Program (CHaMP; BPA Project 2011-006-00) during 2015. ISEMP and CHaMP are addr...
Article
Full-text available
Stream classification provides a means to understand the diversity and distribution of channels and floodplains that occur across a landscape while identifying links between geomorphic form and process. Accordingly, stream classification is frequently employed as a watershed planning, management, and restoration tool. At the same time, there has be...
Data
Supporting text, figures, and tables for manuscript. (DOCX)
Article
Full-text available
Fluvial geomorphologists use close to a 100 different terms to describe the landforms that make up riverscapes. We identified 68 of these existing terms that describe truly distinctive landforms, in which form is maintained under characteristic conditions and fluvial processes. Clear topographic definitions for these landforms to consistently ident...
Article
Full-text available
Stream classification provides a means to understand the diversity and distribution of channels and floodplains that occur across a landscape while drawing linkages between geomorphic form and process. Accordingly, stream classification is frequently employed as a watershed planning, management, and restoration tool. At the same time, there has bee...
Article
Full-text available
Stream classification provides a means to understand the diversity and distribution of channels and floodplains that occur across a landscape while drawing linkages between geomorphic form and process. Accordingly, stream classification is frequently employed as a watershed planning, management, and restoration tool. At the same time, there has bee...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This combined report for Bonneville Power Administra-tion (BPA) Integrated Status and Effectiveness Monitoring Program (ISEMP; BPA Project 2003-017) and the Columbia Habitat Monitoring Program (CHaMP; BPA Project 2011-006) covers Calendar Year (CY) 2014. Here we give an update on ISEMP’s progress and lessons learned as we work toward the end of the...
Article
Full-text available
Stream classification provide a means to understand the diversity and distributions of channel and floodplains that occur across a landscape while drawing linkages between geomorphic form and process. Accordingly, stream classification is frequently employed as a watershed planning tool. In practice, a variety of frameworks are available to manager...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In 2013 the Integrated Status and Effectiveness Monitoring Program (Bonneville Power Administration Project 2003-017; ISEMP) made significant progress in translating data and analytical results into clear and useful formats at scales that will help restoration practitioners plan effective habitat improvements. Given that it is impossible to continu...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In September 2012, USUAS conducted a second year of investigations that again focused on the Island Area, but also expanded their investigations east of the river onto the Olson property. This year’s work was an expansion of the 2011 investigations that focused on excavation, or ground-truthing, of identified geophysical anomalies, as well as addit...
Article
Geomorphic parameters were measured at six cultural sites in eastern and western Grand Canyon during 2006 and 2007 to continue building a dataset started in 2001 relating to the processes and causes of gully erosion. Forty-nine repeat total-station and RTK-GPS surveys were conducted of 13 gullies eroding fine sediments flanking the river corridor....
Article
Understanding the nature of Colorado River deposits in Grand Canyon will help reveal how the river responds to changes in its Colorado Plateau tributaries and Rocky Mountain headwaters. This study focuses on Holocene alluvial deposits associated with archaeological sites excavated near Ninemile Draw in Glen Canyon and at Tanner Bar in eastern Grand...
Article
Full-text available
Holocene and modern travertine formed in spring-fed Havasu Creek of the Grand Canyon, Arizona, was studied to determine the factors governing its oxygen-isotope composition. Analysis of substrate-grown travertine indicates that calculated calcite-formation temperatures compare favorably with measured water temperatures, and include silt-rich lamina...
Article
Full-text available
One of the most intriguing episodes in the Quaternary evolution of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River, Arizona, was the development of vast lakes that are thought to have backed up behind lava erupted into the gorge. Stratigraphic evidence for these deep lava-dammed lakes is expectedly sparse. Possible lacustrine deposits at six areas in the ea...

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Projects

Projects (4)
Archived project
To further knowledge of past cultures and environmental change in the Grand Canyon region through geomorphic analysis of cultural sites in fluvial, hillslope, and valley landform associations.
Project
The goal of the riverscapes assessment work is to develop tools and analytical techniques for mapping, modeling and assessing riverscapes across multiple spatial scales (ranging from hydraulic and geomorphic units to entire drainage networks).