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JSU Launches Bike Trail Research Project at McClellan

Whether biking or hiking the trails you might just see Dr. Martin, Dr. Chenoweth and geology students as they conduct a fascinating research project on the ground and in the air.

This research project will document the geomorphic nature and hydrologic impact on newly constructed mountain bike trails at McClellan and on Coldwater Mountain, Anniston. The research objectives are to further the understanding of trail surface processes and erosion, and to learn more about how new trails “adjust” once people start using them. The new trails constructed at McClellan provide the perfect opportunity to document and monitor the short-term evolution of the newly built trail surface.

Data collection and sampling will include drone flights and documentation and mapping of trail condition. There will be multiple flights conducted in different seasons, to get leaf-on and leaf-off conditions. We will measure trail morphology such as width and depth and soil compaction and sheer strength. We will map the hydrology and flow of water along the trail.

The principle researcher is Dr. Ross H. Martin

The drone pilot is Dr Sean Chenoweth FAA Remote Pilot Certificate Number 4057138 (small unmanned aircraft system)

Stay tuned for additional updates on this project.

Aerial photo showing the trail through the canopy.

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