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Developing Quarry Capture Prevention Techniques on the Buttahatchie River

Maurer, B., & Ramirez-Avila, J. J. (2012). Developing Quarry Capture Prevention Techniques on the Buttahatchie River. In R.I. Barnhisel (Ed.), 2012 National Meeting of the American Society of Mining and Reclamation. Tupelo, MS: American Society of Mining and Reclamation.


Alluvial deposits (Holocene) have made the harvest of sand and gravel profitable in the Buttahatchie River watershed. Historically, excavations in and adjacent to the river have altered the location and stability of the channel. Many inactive, pre-regulation quarries are still found concentrated along the lower 20 km of the main channel. Construction of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Watershed, of which the Buttahatchie River is a tributary, and the resultant head-cutting, have further exacerbated the process of “quarry capture”, whereby the river channel changes course into a quarry. With partners from Mississippi State University, and with support from the US Fish & Wildlife Service, The Nature Conservancy has undertaken a project to develop and implement stabilization BMPs to prevent further quarry capture on the Buttahatchie River. Utilizing LiDAR mapping of the area and modeling of flow patterns, this project will identify points vulnerable to quarry capture, and design and construct appropriate stabilization techniques. Techniques are expected to be both specific to the individual characteristics of each site, and exportable to vulnerable channels in other watersheds.

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