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Streambank Stabilization Design, Research, and Monitoring: The Current State and Future Needs  Open Access

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

Citation:  Transactions of the ASABE. 63(2): 351-387. (doi: 10.13031/trans.13647) @2020
Authors:   Kari A. Bigham
Keywords:   Bankfull bench, Barb, Bioengineering, Deflector, Dike, Dyke, Groin, Groyne, Jetty, Large woody debris, LPSTP, Retarder, Revetment, Riprap bank, River training, Shaping, Spur, Stream restoration, Streambank erosion, Streambank stabilization, Toe rock, Toe


Eleven general streambank stabilization (SBS) techniques have been used worldwide.

Rules-of-thumb and practitioner experience are still heavily applied in SBS design.

Research needs include assessing the spatiotemporal variability of SBS and improving numerical simulation.

Future SBS experiments need to include design details with results that can be easily communicated to designers.

Abstract. Streambank stabilization techniques, designed to maximize localized streambank shear strength and/or minimize the forces acting on a streambank, have been in existence for centuries and are still a popular river management technique used by practitioners worldwide. The purpose of this literature review is to identify common streambank stabilization techniques, compile and summarize the recent peer-reviewed journal articles on these techniques, and determine research needs. Eleven general streambank stabilization practices, consisting of both instream structures and streambank management techniques, are identified in this literature review. Over 140 peer-reviewed journal articles on these techniques have been published over the last 20 years. To improve design and implementation of streambank stabilization techniques, two major research needs were identified: (1) further assess and quantify the spatiotemporal effects that streambank stabilization practices have on bank erosion, hydraulics, sediment transport, and habitat and (2) continue to improve numerical models for streambank stabilization design in order to holistically evaluate and address these effects. In addition, a list of specific research needs for each stabilization technique is provided. To help address these research needs, it is recommended that future streambank stabilization publications should (1) use consistent technique nomenclature, (2) provide characteristic details about the techniques and channels studied, (3) justify the experimental setup, and (4) explain how the research will improve streambank stabilization design.

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