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Geophysical Monograph Series



  • stream restoration
  • computer model
  • channel evolution
  • stream bank erosion
  • riparian zone
  • stream stabilization

Index Terms

  • 1847 Hydrology: Modeling
  • 1862 Hydrology: Sediment transport
  • 1856 Hydrology: River channels
  • 1825 Hydrology: Geomorphology: fluvial



Application of the CONCEPTS Channel Evolution Model in Stream Restoration Strategies

E. J. Langendoen

The series of biennial U.S. National Water Quality Inventory surveys show no reduction in the percentage of degraded miles of streams since the early 1990s despite an exponential increase in river restoration projects to improve water quality, enhance in-stream habitat, and manage the riparian zone. This may suggest that many river restoration projects fail to achieve their objectives and could therefore benefit from using proven models of stream and riparian processes to guide restoration design and to evaluate indicators of ecological integrity. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has developed two such models: the channel evolution computer model CONCEPTS and the riparian ecosystem model REMM. CONCEPTS is a robust computational model for simulating the long-term evolution of incised and restored or rehabilitated stream corridors. REMM is a computational model for evaluating management decisions to control nonpoint source pollution in the riparian zone. These models have been integrated to evaluate the impact of in-stream, edge-of-field, and riparian conservation measures on stream morphology and water quality. This chapter presents how in-stream restoration measures are represented in CONCEPTS. Further, the capabilities of CONCEPTS and REMM are demonstrated through model applications that evaluate the long-term stability of newly constructed channels, the impact of bank protection on downstream sediment loads and streambed composition, and the effectiveness of woody and herbaceous riparian buffers in controlling stream bank erosion of an incised stream.

Citation: Langendoen, E. J. (2011), Application of the CONCEPTS channel evolution model in stream restoration strategies, 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. 487–502, AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/2010GM000986.

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