Stone and concrete revetments are widely constructed to control bank erosion and thus stabilize river banks. The consequences include accelerated erosion at unrevetted downstream channel sections and in-channel incision at revetted sections. The studied section of the Tisza River (Hungary) was revetted along 49% of its banks in the 20th century with stepped-block and placed-rock revetments. We therefore aimed (1) to study the effects of revetment constructions on channel processes and (2) to evaluate the state and collapse of revetments using a DEM of the channel and ADCP measurements. In the late 19th century, the river had an equilibrium meandering channel, with alternating eroding and aggrading banks. Currently, erosional processes dominate. Thus, 65% of the total channel length is affected by bank erosion. The revetments reduced the active lateral erosional processes only temporarily, as 58% of the revetments, mainly placed-rock, are already damaged. The flow characteristics at the revetted sections were found to depend on the rate and type of revetment collapse. Large pools developed in front of the revetments, playing an important role in initiating their erosion. The placed-rock revetments can collapse by slides or by stones falling into the pool one-by-one. In this case, a knickpoint develops, propagating upstream. Thus, the collapse and accelerated bank erosion also propagate upstream. The increased hazard created by the failure of the revetments requires the re-planning of bank stabilization practices.
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