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Water 2015, 7(10), 5566-5591; doi:10.3390/w7105566

Assessing the Performance of In-Stream Restoration Projects Using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Transponders

1
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
2
Department of Geography, University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis, Provence-Alpes-Côtes d’Azur, Nice 06103, France
3
Department of Geography, Vancouver Campus, University of British Columbia, 1984 West Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2, Canada
4
Faculty of Arts and Science, Concordia University, 1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W., Montreal, QC H3G 1M8, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Thorsten Stoesser
Received: 21 August 2015 / Revised: 30 September 2015 / Accepted: 8 October 2015 / Published: 15 October 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Riverflow Research)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3387 KB, uploaded 15 October 2015]   |  

Abstract

Instream channel restoration is a common practice in river engineering that presents a challenge for research. One research gap is the development of monitoring techniques that allow for testable predictions of sediment transport and supply. Here we use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) transponders to compare the short-term (1-year) sediment transport response to flood events in a restored and a control reach. The field site is Wilket Creek, an enlarged creek in a fully urbanized catchment without stormwater management control in Toronto, Ontario. The responses to three flooding periods, each of which are at or above the design bankfull discharge, are described. Key results are that (i) particle mobility is lower in the restored reach for all three periods; (ii) full mobility occurs in the control reach during the first two floods while partial mobility occurs in the restored reach; and (iii) the constructed morphology exerted a controlling influence on particle entrainment, with higher mobility in the pools. Log-transformed travel distances exhibit normal distributions when grouped by particle size class, which allows a statistical comparison with power law and other predictive travel-distance relations. Results show that three bedload transport conditions can occur, with partial mobility associated with a mild relation between particle size and travel distance and full mobility associated with either a flat or steep relation depending on the degree of integration of particles in the bed. Recommendations on seeding strategy and sample sizes are made to improve the precision of the results by minimizing confidence intervals for mobility and travel distances. Even in a short term study, the RFID sediment tracking technique allows a process-based assessment of stream restoration outcomes that can be used to justify the instream intervention and plan future attempts to stabilize and enhance the system. View Full-Text
Keywords: stream restoration; sediment tracking; monitoring; rivers; RFID transponders; sediment transport; particle mobility; travel distances stream restoration; sediment tracking; monitoring; rivers; RFID transponders; sediment transport; particle mobility; travel distances
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

MacVicar, B.; Chapuis, M.; Buckrell, E.; Roy, A. Assessing the Performance of In-Stream Restoration Projects Using Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) Transponders. Water 2015, 7, 5566-5591.

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