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Geophysical Monograph Series



  • stream restoration hydraulics
  • natural reference reaches and habitats
  • pool
  • run and riffle designs

Index Terms

  • 1856 Hydrology: River channels
  • 0481 Biogeosciences: Restoration
  • 1813 Hydrology: Eco-hydrology
  • 1834 Hydrology: Human impacts



Restoring Habitat Hydraulics With Constructed Riffles

Robert Newbury

David Bates

FSCI Consultants, Sechelt, British Columbia, Canada

Karilyn Long Alex

Okanagan First Nations Fisheries Department, Westbank, British Columbia, Canada

Riffles and rapids may be added to channels for a variety of purposes, including increasing hydraulic complexity, stabilizing mobile bed streams, increasing aquatic habitat, or restoring fish passage. To increase hydraulic complexity, there are several options for introducing locally varied hydraulic conditions through the creation of riffles, rapids, runs, and pools. This involves increasing the frequency of transitions between several conditions of uniform, gradually varied and rapidly varied flow. To improve fish passage, riffles and rapids are normally designed as fish-passable hydraulic structures, often replacing traditional fixed drop structures or low dams in channelized streams. The provision of more diverse hydraulics and fish access may be a project objective, but the intricacies of specific aquatic habitat types are beyond commonly used one-dimensional open channel hydraulic equations. Consequently, reliance is placed on mimicking the hydraulics of preferred habitats surveyed in natural reference streams. The hydraulics observed in several preferred aquatic habitat types are broadly summarized, and a design method for riffles, runs, and pools with six project examples is presented.

Citation: Newbury, R., D. Bates, and K. L. Alex (2011), Restoring habitat hydraulics with constructed riffles, in Stream Restoration in Dynamic Fluvial Systems: Scientific Approaches, Analyses, and Tools, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 194, edited by A. Simon, S. J. Bennett and J. M. Castro, pp. 353–366, AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/2010GM000978.


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