Providing Aquatic Organism Passage in Vertically Unstable Streams
1.1.1. Incision Processes
1.1.2. Stream Impacts from Undersized Culverts
1.1.3. Stream Impacts from Channel Incision
- Upstream migrating channel incision and subsequent channel deepening;
- Increased bank height—if critical height is exceeded, bank erosion results;
- Increased sediment supply due to erosion of the channel boundary;
- Disconnection of floodplains from active stream channels;
- Prematurely dewatered or disconnected backwater habitat;
- Locally increased channel slope and loss of pool habitat;
- Drainage of shallow aquifers, thus affecting riparian vegetation, adjacent wetlands, and base flows;
- Increased meander cut-offs due to knickpoint migration across a meander neck caused by an increased elevation drop (head differential) between the old floodplain and active channel bed; and
- Downstream channel aggradation resulting in localized channel braiding.
2.1. Stream Evolution Model
- Headcuts in the stream bed—a vertical drop or off-set in the channel profile;
- Lack of pool habitat in low gradient streams;
- No sediment deposits on the channel bed—scour to bedrock or resistant layer;
- Dead or dying riparian vegetation as a result of dewatering of the shallow groundwater;
- Vertical streambanks on both banks that extend down to the toe of the slope;
- Bank seepage due to dewatering of aquifers;
- Exposed cultural features, such as bridge piers, footings, and aprons, pipelines, or perched culverts; and
- Upland vegetation encroaching into floodplains and riparian areas indicating decreased moisture.
2.2. Stream Profile Analysis
2.3. Post-Project Monitoring
2.4. Risk Assessment
Upstream headcut migration.
- Will the headcut cause an AOP barrier in the channel or at an upstream structure?
- What is the likelihood that grade control (i.e., bedrock, boulders, or wood) will be encountered and how far is it from the project site?
- Is there other infrastructure, such as upstream road crossings, pipelines, diversions, or communication cables that will be affected?
- Will headcut migration across a meander neck caused by an increased elevation drop between the old floodplain and active channel bed result in a meander cut-off?
High channel banks that may result in mass failure.
- How much bank erosion, both the total area affected and the amount of sediment produced, will likely occur?
- Is bank stabilization necessary due to instream or adjacent structures?
Fine sediment inputs to the stream system.
- Is the stream water quality limited due to fine sediment or contaminated soil?
- What is the caliber of sediment (clay, silt, sand) and will the sediment impact habitat or increase turbidity?
Disconnection of floodplains.
- How often will the abandoned floodplain be inundated—once every 2, 5, 10, 100-years?
- Will increased flow confinement significantly increase stream power within the main channel?
Prematurely dewatered or disconnected backwater habitat.
- Will backwater habitat be completely disconnected or will it be functional for much shorter periods during the year?
- Will disconnection of habitats cause stranding for aquatic species?
Locally increased channel slope and loss of pool habitat.
- Are a lack of pools an aquatic habitat limiting factor?
- Is pool quality, especially residual pool depths, an aquatic habitat limiting factor?
Drainage of shallow aquifers which affects riparian vegetation.
- Can the riparian vegetation survive a drop in the water table commensurate with expected incision?
- Will monitoring of the plant community be used to determine if wetland species are affected by changes in moisture regimes?
Sediment deposition causing localized channel braiding and instability of the streambanks.
- Is deposition of coarse sediment en masse likely?
- Will mid-channel bar formation cause concentrated flow near stream banks?
- Is local aggradation causing a shallow, wide channel a concern for AOP?
3.1. Geomorphic Approaches
3.2. Grade Control Treatments
3.2.1. The “Do Nothing” Alternative
3.2.2. Large Roughness Elements: Wood and Boulders
3.2.3. Constructed Riffles
3.2.4. Constructed Steps
3.2.5. Constructed Cascades
Conflicts of Interest
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|Decreased Erosional Resistance|
|Increased Erosional Forces|
|Alternative||Common Benefits||Potential Limitations|
|Large Roughness Elements: Wood and Boulders|
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Castro, J.M.; Beavers, A. Providing Aquatic Organism Passage in Vertically Unstable Streams. Water 2016, 8, 133. https://doi.org/10.3390/w8040133
Castro JM, Beavers A. Providing Aquatic Organism Passage in Vertically Unstable Streams. Water. 2016; 8(4):133. https://doi.org/10.3390/w8040133Chicago/Turabian Style
Castro, Janine M, and Aaron Beavers. 2016. "Providing Aquatic Organism Passage in Vertically Unstable Streams" Water 8, no. 4: 133. https://doi.org/10.3390/w8040133