On Campus: Western's Experimental Earth Surface Laboratory

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 - 11:14am

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WWU photo by Caleb Albright

Senior Geology major Grace Sutherland (Seattle) is working on a project that looks at braided rivers -  a river system that consists of a network of small channels separated by small and often temporary islands called braid bars - and the effect that they have on the environment they are in.

Sutherland has built a model in the Western Experimental Earth Surface Laboratory that allows her to study sediment flow and how braided rivers are created.

Sutherland is comparing her work to a previous experiment done by a colleague in Taiwan, comparing the intensity of the braiding and geometries of the systems. Sutherland hopes to use the data to apply it to real river systems and have it help to interpret those systems' geological history.