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For report updates, see MPCA Le Sueur River Watershed website

Monitoring and assessment


Strategies for restoration and protection

Lura Lake and Blue Earth River TMDLs




Le Sueur River Watershed One Watershed, One Plan, currently in progress. For more information, visit Waseca County's website:


Blue Earth County Comprehensive Water Plan


Faribault County Comprehensive Water Plan


Freeborn County Comprehensive Water Plan 2016-2021

Waseca County 2009-2014 Comprehensive Local Water Management Plan
Waseca County 2015-2018 Comprehensive Local Water Management Plan Amendment


Azmera L.A., Miralles-Wilhelm F.R., Melesse A.M. (2016) Sediment Production in Ravines in the Lower Le Sueur River Watershed, Minnesota. In: Melesse A., Abtew W. (eds) Landscape Dynamics, Soils and Hydrological Processes in Varied Climates. Springer Geography. Springer, Cham.


Baker, A., Finlay, J., Gran, K., Engstrom, D., Karwan, D.,L., *Atkins, W.S.C., *Muramoto Mathieu, M., Dolph, C., in prep. Sediment as a modulator rather than a primary source of phosphorus transport and fate in the Le Sueur River basin, Minnesota. To be submitted to Water Resources Research, June 2018.


Belmont, P. (2011) Floodplain width adjustments in response to rapid base level fall and knickpoint migration. Geomorphology. 128 (1-2): 92-102. [IF: 2.35]


Belmont, P., Gran, K.B., Schottler, S.P., Wilcock, P.R., Day, S.S., Jennings, C., Lauer, J.W., Viparelli, E., Willenbring, J.K., Engstrom, D.R., Parker, G. (2011) Large shift in source of fine sediment in the Upper Mississippi River. Environmental Science and Technology. 45, 8804–8810. [IF: 4.83]


Cho, Se Jong, Christian A. Braudrick, Christine L. Dolph, Stephanie S. Day, Brent J. Dalzell, Peter R. Wilcock, 2021, Simulation of fluvial sediment dynamics through strategic assessment of stream gaging data: A targeted watershed sediment loading analysis, Journal of Environmental Management,Volume 277, 2021, 111420, ISSN 0301-4797,


Cho, S.J., Wilcock, P.R., Belmont, P., Gran, K.B., Hobbs, B.F., 2019. Simulation Model for Collaborative Decision Making on Sediment Source Reduction in an Intensively Managed Watershed. Water Resources Research 55, 1544–1564.


Cho, S.J., Wilcock, P., Hobbs, B., 2018. Topographic filtering simulation model for sediment source apportionment. Geomorphology 309, 1–19.


Cho, S.J., Wilcock, P., Gran, K., in prep. Topographic filtering simulation model for evaluating variable sediment transport scenarios at the watershed scale. To be submitted to Geomorphology, Dec 2020


Craig, L., M. Palmer, D. Richardson, S. Filoso, E. Bernhardt, B. Bledsoe, M. Doyle, P. Groffman, B. Hassett, S. Kaushal, P. Mayer, S. Smith, and P. Wilcock, 2008. Stream restoration strategies for reducing river nitrogen loads, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 6, doi:10.1890/070080.


Day, S.S., Gran, K.B., Paola, C., 2018. Impacts of changing hydrology on ravine growth: Experimental results. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. doi:10.5194/hess-2017-567.


Day S.S., Gran, K.B., Belmont, P., Wawrzyniec, T. (2013) Measuring bluff erosion part 1: terrestrial laser scanning methods for change detection. 38(10), 1055-1067. DOI: 10.1002/esp.3353 [IF: 2.43]


Day, S.S., Gran, K.B., Belmont, P. (2013) Measuring bluff erosion part 2: pairing aerial photographs and terrestrial laser scanning to create a watershed scale sediment budget. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 38(10), 1068-1082. DOI: 10.1002/esp.3359 [IF: 2.43]


Donovan, M., Belmont, P., Notebaert, B.,Cho, S.J., Wilcock, P., Hobbs, B.J., Gran, K., and Belmont, P., in prep. Data-driven, reduced complexity watershed simulation model for transparent evaluation of nonpoint source sediment pollution and management impact. To be submitted to Water Resources Research, June 2018. 48 msp.


Foufoula-Georgiou, E., Belmont, P., Wilcock, P.R., Gran, K.B., Finlay, J., Kumar, P., Czuba, J.A., Schwenk, J., and Takbiri, Z. (2016) Comment on “Climate and agricultural land use change impacts on streamflow in the upper midwestern United States” by Gupta et al. Water Resources Research. 52(9), 7536-7539. [IF: 3.709]


Gran, K.B., Belmont, P., Day, S.S., Jennings, C., Johnson, A., Perg, L., and Wilcock, P.R. (2009) Geomorphic evolution of the Le Sueur River, Minnesota, USA, and implications for current sediment loading, in James, L.A., Rathburn, S.L., and Whittecar, G.R., eds., Management and Restoration of Fluvial Systems with Broad Historical Changes and Human Impacts: Geological Society of America Special Paper 451, p.119-130. [IF: NA]


Gran, K.B., Belmont, P., Day, S.S., Finnegan, N., Jennings, C., Lauer, J.W., Wilcock, P.R. (2011) Landscape evolution in south-central Minnesota and the role of geomorphic history on modern erosional Belmont Page 6 processes. GSA Today. 21 (9): 7-9 [IF: NA, ranked 15th of 196 journals in the subject category Geology 2011 SCImago Journal Rank]


Gran K. B.,  C. Dolph,  A. Baker,  M. Bevis,  S. J. Cho,  J. A. Czuba,  B. Dalzell,  M. Danesh‐Yazdi,  A. T. Hansen,  S. Kelly,  Z. Lang,  J. Schwenk,  P. Belmont,  J. C. Finlay  P. Kumar, S. Rabotyagov,  G. Roehrig,  P. Wilcock,  E. Foufoula‐Georgiou, 2019. The Power of Environmental Observatories for Advancing Multidisciplinary Research, Outreach, and Decision Support: The Case of the Minnesota River Basin


Gran, K., C. Dolph, A. Baker, M. Bevis, S.J. Cho, J.A. Czuba, B. Dalzell, A. Hansen, S. Kelly, Z. Lang, J. Schwenk, P. Belmont, J.C. Finlay, P. Kumar, S. Rabotyagov, G. Roehrig, P. Wilcock, and E. Foufoula-Georgiou (in review) Data synthesis for collaborative, multidisciplinary research in an intensively managed agricultural landscape: the Minnesota River Basin environmental observatory. Submitted to Water Resources Research.


Gran, K.B., Finnegan, N., *Johnson, A., Belmont, P., Rittenour, T., and Wittkop, C., 2013, Landscape evolution, valley excavation, and terrace development following abrupt postglacial base level fall. GSA Bulletin, doi: 10.1130/B30772.1. **Winner of 2018 Kirk Bryan Award for research excellence, GSA QG&G Division Award


Hansen, Amy, Dolph, Christine, Foufoula-Georgiou, Efi, Finlay, Jacques, 2018. Contribution of wetlands to nitrate removal at the watershed scale. Nature Geoscience V. 11 DO  - 10.1038/s41561-017-0056-6


Jacobi, S.K., B.F. Hobbs, P.R. Wilcock, 2013. Bayesian framework for cost-effective control and research of non-point source sediment, J. of Water Resources Planning and Management, ASCE. 139(5):534- 543, doi:10.1061/(ASCE)WR.1943-5452.0000282


Kelly, S., Takbiri, Z., Belmont, P., Foufoula-Georgiou, E. (2017) Human amplified changes in precipitation-runoff patterns in large river basins of the Midwestern United States. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences. 21(10), 5065. doi:10.5194/hess-2017-133 [IF: 4.437]


Kelly, S.A., and Belmont, P. (2018) High Resolution Monitoring of River Bluff Erosion Reveals Failure Mechanisms and Geomorphically Effective Flows. Water, 10(4), 394. doi:10.3390/w10040394 [IF: 2.069]


Kumar, P., Le, P.V.V., Papanicolaou, A.N.T., Rhoads, B.L., Anders, A.M., Stumpf, A., Wilson, C.G., Bettis III, E.A., Blair, N., Ward, A.S., Filley, T., Lin, H., Keefer, L., Keefer, D.A., Lin, Y., Muste, M., Royer, T., Foufoula-Georgiou, E., and Belmont, P. (2018) Critical transition in critical zone of intensively managed landscapes. Anthropocene, 22, 10-19.


Kumarasamy, K., and Belmont, P. (in review) Effects of agricultural tile drainage from field to large watershed scale. Submitted to Water (Open-access journal).


Lauer, J.W., Echterling, C., Lenhart, C., Belmont, P., Rausch, R. (2017). Air-photo based change in channel width in the Minnesota River basin: Modes of adjustment and implications for sediment budget. Geomorphology, 297, 170-184. doi: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2017.09.005 [IF: 2.958]


Lenhart, C. F., Smith, D. J., Lewandowski, A., Belmont, P., Gunderson, L., & Nieber, J. L. (2018). Assessment of Stream Restoration for Reduction of Sediment in a Large Agricultural Watershed. Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management, 144(7), 04018032. [IF: 3.537]


Maalim, F.K., Melesse, A.M., Belmont, P., Gran, K.B., 2013, Modeling the impact of land use changes on runoff and sediment yield in the Le Sueur watershed, Minnesota, using GeoWEPP. Catena v. 107, pp. 35-45


Maalim F. K. & A. M. Melesse (2013) Modelling the impacts of subsurface drainage on surface runoff and sediment yield in the Le Sueur Watershed, Minnesota, USA, Hydrological Sciences Journal, 58:3, 570-586, DOI: 10.1080/02626667.2013.774088


Mitchell, N., Kumarasamy, K., Cho, S.J., Belmont, P., Dalzell, B., Gran, K.B. (2018) Reducing High Flows and Sediment Loading through Increased Water Storage in an Agricultural Watershed of the Upper Midwest, USA. Water, 10(8), 1053; [IF: 2.069]


Passalacqua, P., Belmont, P., Foufoula-Georgiou, E. (2012) Automatic geomorphic feature extraction from lidar in flat and engineered landscapes. Water Resources Research. 48: W03528. doi:10.1029/2011WR010958. [IF: 2.74]


Schottler, S.P., Ulrich, J., Belmont, P., Moore, R., Lauer, J.W., Engstrom, D.R. (2014) Twentieth century agricultural drainage creates more erosive rivers. Hydrological Processes. 28(4), 1951-1961 DOI: 10.1002/hyp.9738 [IF: 2.49]


Vaughan, A.A., Belmont, P., Hawkins, C.P., Wilcock, P.R., (2017) Near‐channel versus watershed controls on sediment rating curves. Journal of Geophysical Research – Earth Surface. 122(10), 1901- 1923. doi: 10.1002/2016JF004180 [IF: 3.412]


Viparelli, E., Lauer, J.W., Belmont, P., Parker, G. (2013) A Numerical Model to Develop Longterm Sediment Budgets Using Isotopic Sediment Fingerprints. Computers and Geosciences Special Issue on Modeling for Environmental Change. 53: 114-122. doi:10.1016/j.cageo.2011.10.003 [IF: 1.83]



Baker, Anna; Finlay, Jacques; Gran, Karen; Rorer, Michelle; Belo, Tessa; Atkins, Walter; Muramoto-Mathieu, Megumi; Yetter, Kara; Katherine, Kemmitt. (2019). Le Sueur River Basin Sediment Characterization - chemical and physical properties of sediments collected 2015-2018. Retrieved from the Data Repository for the University of Minnesota, Baker_umn_0130M_19680.pdf (2.374Mb application/pdf)


Belmont, P. (2018) Cross sections of the Le Sueur and Maple Rivers, Minnesota.,


Belmont, P. (2018) Greater Blue Earth and Lake Pepin sediment fingerprinting data.


Belmont, P., Wilcock, P.R., Viparelli, E. (2010).Sediment Budget for Source Analysis: Le Sueur River, Minnesota. Technical paper, 9th Federal Interagency Sedimentation Conference. 13 ms p.


Belmont, P., Gran, K., Jennings, C.E., Wittkop, C., *Day, S.S., (2011), Holocene landscape evolution and erosional processes in the Le Sueur River, central Minnesota. In Miller, J.S., Hudak, G.J., Wittkop, C., and McLaughlin, P.I., eds., Archean to the Anthropocene: Field Guides to the Geology of the Mid-Continent of North America: Geological Society of American Field Guide 24, p. 439-455, doi:10.1130/2011.0024 (21).


Gran, K.B., Belmont, P., Day, S., Jennings, C., Lauer, J.W., Viparelli, E., Wilcock, P.R., Parker, G., (2011) An Integrated Sediment Budget for the Le Sueur River Basin Final Report June 2011.


Bevis, M.A., Gran, K.B., (2017). Greater Blue Earth River Basin Sediment Budget Shapefiles.

Data Repository for the University of Minnesota,


Cho, S.J., Wilcock, P., Gran, K., Belmont, P., Hobbs, B., Collaborative for Sediment Source

Reduction--Greater Blue Earth River Basin, 2017. Management Option Simulation

Model (MOSM) and supporting documents. University of Minnesota Digital


Dolph, Christine, L.; Hansen, Amy, T.; Kemmitt, Katie, L.; Janke, Ben; Rorer, Michelle; Winikoff, Sarah; Baker, Anna; Boardman, Evelyn; Finlay, Jacques, C. (2017). Characterization of streams and rivers in the Minnesota River Basin Critical Observatory: water chemistry and biological field collections, 2013-2016. Retrieved from the Data Repository for the University of Minnesota,


Finlay, Jacques, Brent Dalzell, Christy Dolph, Anna Baker, Michelle Rorer, (2019). Measuring and modeling watershed phosphorus loss and transport for improved management of agricultural landscapes Final Report for MDA


Gran, K., P. Belmont, S. Day, C. Jennings, J.W. Lauer, E. Viparelli, P. Wilcock, G. Parker, (2011). An Integrated Sediment Budget for the Le Sueur River Basin. Final report to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, St. Paul MN. 128 pp and appendices.

Gran, K.B., Belmont, P., *Bevis, M., *Cho, S.J., Heitkamp, B., Hobbs, B., Marr, J., Mielke, S.,Mitchell, N., Kumarasamy, K., Wilcock, P., (2016), Collaborative for sediment source reduction : Greater Blue Earth River Basin - Sediment budget for the Greater Blue Earth basin. Final report to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. August 2016, 33 p.

Kelly, S., Z. Takbiri, P. Belmont, E. Foufoula-Georgiou (2017). Human amplified changes in precipitation–runoff patterns in large river basins of the Midwestern United States - accompanying data , HydroShare,


Schottler, S., DR Engstrom, D Blumentritt, C Jennings, L Triplett, (2010). Fingerprinting sources of sediment in large agricultural river systems, Final Report to Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, CFMS # A94798 St. Paul 68


Wilcock, P., (2009). Identifying sediment sources in the Minnesota River Basin, Public Synthesis Report for the Minnesota River Sediment Colloquium, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.


Wilcock, P.R., and others including P. Belmont (2009) Identifying sediment sources in the Minnesota River Basin. Minnesota River sediment colloquium report published by Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. 18 ms p


Wilcock, P., Cho, S.J., Gran, K., Hobbs, B., Belmont, P., Bevis, M., Heitkamp, B., Marr, J., Mielke, S., Mitchell, N., and Kumarasamy, K. (2016). CSSR: Collaborative for Sediment Source Reduction Greater Blue Earth River Basin. Final project report for MPCA, MDA, USEPA, MAWRC.



Azmera, Luam A., "Estimation of Ravine Sediment Production and Sediment Dynamics in the Lower Le Sueur River Watershed, Minnesota" (2009). FIU Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 142.


Baker, Anna. (2018). Phosphorus-sediment interactions and their implications for watershed scale phosphorus dynamics in the Le Sueur River Basin. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,

Bevis, Martin. (2014) M.S. Thesis (Advisor: Gran) 89 p. "Pliestocene base-level fall is a fundamental driver of erosion in southern Minnesota’s Greater Blue Earth River Basin.”


Cho, S., (2017). Development of data-driven, reduced-complexity watershed simulation models to address agricultural non-point source sediment pollution in southern Minnesota (Ph.D. Dissertation). Department of Environmental Health and Engineering, Baltimore, MD.

Day, Stephanie S. (2012). Anthropogenically-intensified erosion in incising river systems. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,

Folle, Solomon Muleta. (2010). Swat modeling of sediment, nutrients and pesticides in the Le-Sueur River watershed, south-central Minnesota. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,

Folle_umn_0130E_10935.pdf (11.40Mb application/pdf)


Johnson, Andrea, (2012). M.S. Thesis (Advisor: Gran) 54 p. "Timing and pattern of valley excavation, Le Sueur River, South-Central Minnesota, USA”


Mitchell, Nathaniel, (2015). M.S. Thesis (Advisor: Gran) 120 p. "Achieving peak flow and sediment loading reductions through increased water storage in the Le Sueur River Watershed, Minnesota: a Modeling Approach.”

Treat, Ian. (2017). Ravine alluvial fans as records of landscape change in the Le Sueur River Basin, southern Minnesota. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,


Journal references based on compiled list by Carrie Jennings 2020. 

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