Stream Restoration in Large and Small Channels

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Instructor Information: Bryan Dick, P.E., PH.

Course Length: 1 Hour

This webinar was co-sponsored by ASCE's Coastal, Oceans, Ports & Rivers Institute and ASCE Continuing Education.

Purpose and Background

Stream restoration and bank stabilization projects vary greatly in channel size, length, complexity and energy. The techniques and methods that are employed in a given stream restoration or riverbank stabilization design can vary significantly for each site, depending upon the physical differences and the site and construction constraints. Most restoration projects can be generally grouped into solutions that are typical of larger, deeper channels or small, more narrow and shallow channels. This one hour webinar is a continuation of an introduction to stream restoration for technical professionals and will discuss and present a basic reality of the differences in the common techniques that are available on various sizes of streams and rivers. The format of the webinar is organized in a manner that does not require attendance of each webinar in this series, as the principles of stable channel form and sediment transport will be highlighted in each webinar while providing a greater level of detail about the subject topic.

Primary Discussion Topics

  •  Overview of the principles of stream restoration
  •  Stable channel form – dynamic equilibrium
  •  Characteristics generally associated with large and small natural channels
  •  Typical solutions and methods for small to mid-sized streams
  •  Large river restoration or stabilization
  •  Example projects that demonstrate the different methods

 Learning Outcomes/Benefits

  •  Gain a basic understanding of the physical principles of fluvial geomorphology and natural channel form
  •  Become aware of how physical size and project constraints govern implementation
  •  Learn the meaning of the many terms that are associated with stream restoration
  •  Be able to identify the constraints and challenges of various project types
  •  Better evaluate the rewards and risks of restoration projects
  •  Explore the techniques available to practitioners seeking to restore function to the fluvial system

Intended Audience

  •  Professional Engineers 
  •  Environmental Scientist/ Ecologist 
  •  Geologist and Geographers 
  •  Planning professionals 
  •  Engineers in Training who have a basic understanding of engineering design, bid-document preparation and construction practices 
  •  Students of engineering, geology and environmental disciplines

Webinar Outline

  •  Overview of basic geomorphology concepts
  •  Stable channel form - reference and analytical parameters
  •  Clear and achievable project goals 
  •  Stabilization vs. Restoration 
  •  Constructability limitations for large channels 
  •  Wet or dry construction 
  •  Methods for various channel sizes 
  •  Real world examples
  •  Uncertainty in design