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Chapter 10: Channel Stabilization and Restoration

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Pages 245-264 (doi:10.13031/swce.2013.10) in Soil and Water Conservation Engineering, 7th Edition . Copyright 2013 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Mich.
Authors:   Rodney L. Huffman, Delmar D. Fangmeier, William J. Elliot, Stephen R. Workman
Keywords:   Soil, water, conservation, environment,Channel Stabilization and Restoration, 10.1 Watershed Classification, 10.2 Drainage Networks, 10.3 Channel Geometry, 10.4 Stream Classification, Narrow, Deep Streams (W/D<12), Wide, Shallow Streams (W/D>12), Br

Introductory paragraphs: A dominant characteristic of most inland cities of the world is a river. To have access to fresh water, many coastal cities were formed near the outlet of a river. Historically, rivers have represented a source of water, transportation route, food supply, and means for waste removal. As cities grew, the river systems became impacted by human activities. These impacts include pollution, sedimentation, channelization, and impoundments. Nearly every major river system is now controlled to such an extent that it can be represented as a series of reservoirs. Tributaries of these large rivers have also been affected by the placement of impoundments to control flow and flooding.

The end of the twentieth century saw a shift from analyzing and designing stream systems strictly for hydraulic function to the design of systems with a balance between hydraulic, environmental, and ecosystem functions. The Kissimmee River in Florida is an example of a river that was channeled from 160 km of meandering river to a series of five impoundments connected by a large drainage canal (Brookes and Shields, 1996). The channelization caused a dramatic change in the ecosystems of the region with significant losses in aquatic and waterfowl species. Procedures are now underway to restore the river to its natural condition. Because of the relatively new science of stream restoration and stabilization, few design procedures are available (FISRWG, 1998; Doll et al., 2003).

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