Scales of Bank Roughness and Their Relationship to Bank Erosion Processes
Hankin, Erik Ravnholt
Prestegaard, Karen L
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Stream bank erosion rates and the stabilization of channel width are poorly understood processes. There have been two distinct approaches to the study and prediction of bank erosion rates in natural streams. In order to predict bank shear stresses, scientists either define a reach as being meandering or straight, even though most river channels are neither meandering nor straight but a combination of the two. This thesis aims to determine if river segments can be divided into straight reaches and curved reaches with different bank erosion prediction approaches applied to each as well as investigating the role of bank roughness element size and spacing in bank erosion. The results show that straight reaches are affected by upstream curvature and that large isolated bank protrusions that are widely spaced generate erosion-causing, stable, macroturbulent eddies. The thesis has implications for stream restoration practices regarding bank stability and erosion.