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US Army Corps of Engineers
Mississippi Valley Division

Rock Island District Forestry

The Hydrogeomorphic Method (HGM) is a three-stage process to identify ecosystem restoration and management options. This process provides the ability to determine what a sustainable "desired future condition" can be in large river floodplains. HGM evaluations are based on

  1. Information on geomorphology, soils, topography, and hydrology to determine type, distribution, and sustaining ecological processes of Presettlement communities
  2. A desire to emulate natural water regimes and natural vegetation communities where possible
  3. An understanding of local and regional land use changes
  4. Incorporation of state-of-the-art scientific knowledge of wetland/floodplain ecological processes and key plant and animal species
  5. Recognition of the desire for multiple uses

The three stages of HGM are first, to determine the historic condition and ecological processes of an area and its surrounding landscapes; second, determine alterations in hydrological condition, topography, vegetation community structure and distribution, and resource availability to key fish and wildlife species; and third, to identify options and approaches to restore specific habitats and ecological conditions. (Heitmeyer, M.E. 2007. Feasibility Investigation: Hydrogeomorphic Modeling and Analyses Upper Mississippi River System Floodplain. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Report. West Alton, MO.)

Rock Island HGM's

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The Hydrogeomorphic Method (HGM) is a three-stage process to identify ecosystem restoration and management options.  A major benefit is the ability to determine what a sustainable "desired future condition" can be in large river floodplains.  HGM evaluations are based on 1) information on geomorphology, soils, topography, and hydrology to determine type, distribution, and sustaining ecological processes of Presettlement communities; 2) a desire to emulate natural water regimes and natural vegetation communities where possible; 3) an understanding of local and regional land use changes; 4) incorporation of state-of-the-art scientific knowledge of wetland/floodplain ecological processes and key plant and animal species; and 5) recognition of the desire for multiple uses.  The three-stages of HGM are:  first, to determine the historic condition and ecological processes of an area and its surrounding landscapes; second, determine alterations in hydrological condition, topography, vegetation community structure and distribution, and resource availability to key fish and wildlife species; and third, to identify options and approaches to restore specific habitats and ecological conditions.  (Heitmeyer, M.E. 2007. Feasibility Investigation: Hydrogeomorphic Modeling and Analyses Upper Mississippi River System Floodplain. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Report. West Alton, MO.)

This report assesses the feasibility of conducting a Hydrogeomorphic Method (HGM) evaluation of ecosystem restoration and management options for the Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS).