Document Type



Civil Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Fernando R. Miralles-Wilhelm

First Advisor's Committee Title

Co-Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Assefa M. Melesse

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Co-Committee Chair

Third Advisor's Name

Hector R. Fuentes


Gully Erosion, Ravine Erosion, Le Sueur River, Minnesota River, Ravine Erosion Modelling, Sediment Budget

Date of Defense



This study focuses on quantifying explicitly the sediment budget of deeply incised ravines in the lower Le Sueur River watershed, in southern Minnesota. High-rate-gully-erosion equations along with the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) were implemented in a numerical modeling approach that is based on a time-integration of the sediment balance equations. The model estimates the rates of ravine width and depth change and the amount of sediment periodically flushing from the ravines. Components of the sediment budget of the ravines were simulated with the model and results suggest that the ravine walls are the major sediment source in the ravines. A sensitivity analysis revealed that the erodibility coefficients of the gully bed and wall, the local slope angle and the Manning’s coefficient are the key parameters controlling the rate of sediment production. Recommendations to guide further monitoring efforts in the watershed and increased detail modeling approaches are highlighted as a result of this modeling effort.





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