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River engineering

About: River engineering is a(n) research topic. Over the lifetime, 435 publication(s) have been published within this topic receiving 10286 citation(s). The topic is also known as: Channelisation.
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Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Large catchment basins may be viewed as ecosystems in which natural and cultural attributes interact. Contemporary river ecology emphasizes the four-dimensional nature of the river continuum and the propensity for riverine biodiversity and bioproduction to be largely controlled by habitat maintenance processes, such as cut and fill alluviation mediated by catchment water yield. Stream regulation reduces annual flow amplitude, increases baseflow variation and changes temperature, mass transport and other important biophysical patterns and attributes. As a result, ecological connectivity between upstream and downstream reaches and between channels, ground waters and floodplains may be severed. Native biodiversity and bioproduction usually are reduced or changed and non-native biota proliferate. Regulated rivers regain normative attributes as distance from the dam increases and in relation to the mode of dam operation. Therefore, dam operations can be used to restructure altered temperature and flow regimes which, coupled with pollution abatement and management of non-native biota, enables natural processes to restore damaged habitats along the river’s course. The expectation is recovery of depressed populations of native species. The protocol requires: restoring peak flows needed to reconnect and periodically reconfigure channel and floodplain habitats; stabilizing baseflows to revitalize food-webs in shallow water habitats; reconstituting seasonal temperature patterns (e.g. by construction of depth selective withdrawal systems on storage dams); maximizing dam passage to allow recovery of fish metapopulation structure; instituting a management belief system that relies upon natural habitat restoration and maintenance, as opposed to artificial propagation, installation of artificial instream structures (river engineering) and predator control; and, practising adaptive ecosystem management. Our restoration protocol should be viewed as an hypothesis derived from the principles of river ecology. Although restoration to aboriginal state is not expected, nor necessarily desired, recovering some large portion of the lost capacity to sustain native biodiversity and bioproduction is possible by management for processes that maintain normative habitat conditions. The cost may be less than expected because the river can do most of the work.

705 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: In response to various types of human disturbance, most Italian rivers have experienced considerable channel adjustment during the last centuries and in particular in the last decades. This paper reviews all existing published studies and available data, and aims to reconstruct a general outline of the main channel adjustments that have occurred in Italian rivers during the past 100 years. Two main types of channel adjustment have been recognized: (a) incision, which is commonly on the order of 3–4 m, but in some cases is even more than 10 m; (b) narrowing, with channel width reduction up to 50% or more. In some reaches, these adjustments have led to changes in channel pattern in particular from braided to wandering. Such channel adjustments are due to several types of human intervention, particularly sediment extraction, dams and channelization. A strong temporal relationship (specifically, short reaction times) between human disturbance and channel adjustment can be inferred, but trends of adjustment are available for only a few rivers (e.g. the Po, the Arno and the Piave Rivers). These trends show that incision and/or narrowing are more intense immediately after the disturbance and then slow and become asymptotic; the same trends also suggest that larger rivers could have longer relaxation times. The results of this study are synthesised in a general classification scheme that summarises the main styles of adjustment observed in Italian rivers. According to the scheme, braided rivers adjust through prevalent narrowing with varying rates of incision, whereas single-thread rivers adjust mainly through a more pronounced incision accompanied by various amounts of narrowing. The scheme, representing initial and final (present) morphologies and not including intermediate stages of channel adjustment, will need to be tested on the basis of more detailed data to have a wider application both to the Italian context and to fluvial systems elsewhere, affected by similar types of human disturbance causing a reduction of sediment supply.

510 citations

08 Feb 1988
Abstract: This text collects and collates the significant advances in analytical methods for alluvial channel design, river morphology, and mathematical simulation of river channel changes. It presents a complete analytical treatment of river morphology and its responses to environmental and human-made changes from the engineering point of view. For professionals in flood control, bridge design, irrigation and waterways, this book is a current, comprehensive refresher and reference. It is also a textbook in river sedimentation. Analytical and empirical methods are detailed for solving erosion and sedimentation problems, hydraulic design of channels, bridges, and related structures. From a sound physical foundation, mathematical techniques are presented for simulating river channel changes, and computer-aided analysis and design for river projects are illustrated by abundant examples.

475 citations

01 Jan 1988
Abstract: Conventional River Engineering ENVIRONMENTAL LEGISLATION Legislative Framework EFFECTS OF CHANNELIZATION Physical Effects Biological Impacts Downstream Consequences RECOMMENDATIONS Revised Construction Procedures Mitigation, Enhancement, and Restoration Techniques POSTSCRIPT AND PROSPECTS Appendix References Indexes

379 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: The stability of a river bank depends on the balance of forces, motive and resistive, associated with the most critical mechanism of failure. Many mechanisms are possible and the likelihood of failure occurring by any particular one depends on the size, geometry and structure of the bank, the engineering properties of the bank material, the hydraulics of flow in the adjacent channel and climatic conditions. Rivers flowing through alluvial deposits often have a composite structure of cohesionless sand and gravel overlain by cohesive silt/clay. Bank erosion occurs by fluvial entrainment of material from the lower, cohesionless bank at a much higher rate than material from the upper, cohesive bank. This leads to undermining that produces cantilevers of cohesive material. Upper bank retreat takes place predominantly by the failure of these cantilevers. Three mechanisms of failure have been identified: shear, beam and tensile failure. The stability of a cantilever may be analysed using static equilibrium and beam theory, and dimensionless charts for cantilever stability constructed. Application of the charts requires only a few simple measurements of cantilever geometry and soil properties. In this analysis the effects of cracks and fissures in the soil must be taken into account. These cracks seriously weaken the soil and can invalidate a stability analysis by affecting the shape of the failure surface. Following mechanical failure, blocks of soil must be removed from the basal area by fluvial entrainment if rapid undermining and cantilever generation are to continue. Hence, the rate of bank retreat is fluvially controlled, even though the mechanism of failure of the upper bank is not directly fluvial in nature. This cycle of bank erosion: undermining, cantilever failure and fluvial scour of the toe, operates over several flood events and has important implications for river engineering, channel changes, and the movement of sediment through fluvial systems.

312 citations

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