CIVE 413 Environmental River Mechanics
Fall 2013

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Instructor    Syllabus    Text & References    Lectures    Homework    

Reading    Links    Software Downloads    Misc.



Brian Bledsoe, Ph.D., P.E.



Course Syllabus

Text and References

River Engineering for Highway Encroachments: Highways in the River Environment - Required Text

This reports considers many aspects of, and environmental problems caused by highway encroachments, such as bridges and culverts.  It considers their effect on open-channel flow, fluvial geomorphology, sediment transport, river mechanics, design and maintenance.

Richardson, E.V., Simons, D.B., and Lagasse, P.F. 2001.  River Engineering for Highway Encroachments.  Highways in the River Environment.  FHWA NHI 01-004, HDS 6.  National Technical Information Service, Springfield, VA.

Channel Restoration Design for Meandering Rivers

This report presents a framework for restoring channels of meandering rivers, focused on geomorphic principles and convential river engineering methods.  It is an outline of an approach to provide a practical, low maintanence solution for restoration designs that mimic the natural channel.

Soar, P.J., and Thorne, C.R.  2001.  Channel Restoration Design for Meandering Rivers.  ERDC/CHL CR-01-1, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Flood Damage Reduction Research Program, Vicksburg, MS.

Hydraulic Design of Stream Restoration Projects

The purpose of this document is to provide a systematic hydraulic design methodology to hydraulic engineers involved in stream restoration projects.  The objective of the methodology is to fit the stream restoration project into the natural system within the physical constraints imposed by other project objectives and constraints.

Copeland, R.R. and McComas, D.N.  2001.  Hydraulic Design of Stream Restoration Projects.  ERDC/CHL TR-01-28, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, Coastal and Hydraulics laboratory, Vicksburg, MS.

Stream Channel Reference Sites: An Illustrated Guide to Field Technique

Harrelson, C.C., C.L. Rawlins, and J.P. Potyondy.  1994.  Stream Channel Reference Sites: an illustrated guide to field technique.  Gen. Tech. Rep. RM-245.  Fort Collins, CO: U.S.  Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station.  P.61.

The Practical Streambank Bioengineering Guide

User’s Guide for Natural Streambank Stabilization Techniues in the Arid and Semi-Arid Great Basin and Intermountain West

This is a guide to natural stream stabilization techniques for the arid and semi-arid great basin and the intermountain west.  It is intended for the use of conservationists who provide technical assistance to private landowners for restoration work.

Bentrup, G., and Hoag, J.C.  1998.  The Practical Streambank Bioengineering Guide.  USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Plant Materials Center, Aberdeen, ID

Guide for Selecting Manning's Roughness Coefficients for Natural Channels and Floodplains

Federal Interagency Stream Corridor Restoration Manual

Manual of River Restoration Techniques

River Restoration Centre.  2002 – web edition.  Manual of River Restoration Techniques.  Silsoe, Beds, UK.  Environment Agency.

Stream Management

This is a handbook designed to provide guidance for projects to have less adverse effects on the aquatic environment.  It is intended to introduce considerations involved in addressing stream instabilities, and to present an overview of techniques that might be considered for erosion control projects.

Fischenich, J.C., and Allen, H.  1999.  Stream Management.  ERDC/EL SR-W-00-1, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS.

A Rehabilitation Manual for Australian Streams

Volume 1

This manual is designed to assist local and regional professional managers in rehabilitating, preserving and returning the natural physical and biological diversity of Australian streams.  Particular emphasis is put on the physical condition of stream reaches and stream stability.  This volume provides basic rehabilitation concepts and a summary of a rehabilitation planning procedure.

Rutherfurd, I.D, Jerie, K., and Marsh, N.  2000.  A Rehabilitation Manual for Australian Streams, volume 1.  Cooperative Research Centre for Catchment Hydrology, Monash University, Clayton VIC, AUS.

A Rehabilitation Manual for Australian Streams

Volume 2

This is a continuation of volume 1 in its effort to assist managers to return biological and physical values to Australian streams.  Volume 2 provides more detailed information about the tools that can be used for rehabilitation.  It covers common stream problems, planning tools and intervention tools.

Rutherfurd, I.D, Jerie, K., and Marsh, N.  2000.  A Rehabilitation Manual for Australian Streams, volume 2.  Cooperative Research Centre for Catchment Hydrology, Monash University, Clayton VIC, AUS.

Sedimentation Investigations of Rivers and Reservoirs

This manual provides current guidance and engineering procedures for river and reservoir sedimentation investigations.  Subjects covered are pertinent for planning, design, construction, and operation of flood control projects and navigation projects, and for permitting gravel extraction.

Griffin, R.H.  1995.  Sedimentation Investigations of Rivers and Reservoirs.  EM 1110-2-4000, change 1.  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, DC.

Bioengineering for Streambank Erosion Control

Report 1

This report relates information for bioengineering applications and provides preliminary planning and design guidelines for use of bioengineering treatments on eroded streambanks.  It documents successful bioengineering attempts in Europe and the United States.

Allen, H.H., and Leech, J.R.  1997.  Bioengineering for Streambank Erosion Control.  TR EL-97-8.  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, DC.

Physical Habitat Characterization

EMAP-Western Pilot Field Operations for Wadeable Streams, section 7.

This is a section of a larger report that covers stream habitat characterization.  This section covers procedures for evaluating physical habitat in wadeable streams including sampling, measurements and equipment.

Kaufmann, P.R.  2001.  Physical Habitat Characterization, section 7.  a modification of Kaufmann and Robison, 1998.  EPA, Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Laboratory, Corvallis, OR.

Geomorphological Concepts and Tools for Sustainable River Ecosystem Management

This paper explores the ability of fluvial geomorphology to describe, monitor and predict river channel conditions and behavior at the basin and smaller scales.  It also examines how to create tools and assess instream physical habitat with regard to human impacts and a scaled approach.

Newson, M.D.  2002.  Geomorphological Concepts and Tools for Sustainable River Ecosystem Management.  Aquatic Conserv: Mar. Freshw. Ecosyst. 12: 365-379.  Wiley Interscience,, DOI: 10.1002/aqc.532.

Wetland Restoration, Enhancement, or Creation

Engineering Field Handbook, chapter 13.

This chapter provides field personnel with a guide for wetland restoration, enhancement, and creation.  It describes the planning, design, implementation, maintenance and monitoring phases of wetland restoration, enhancement or creation projects of all sizes.  It is intended to be supplemented with regional and local information.

Gray, R., and Tuttle, R.  1997.  Engineering Field Handbook, chapter 13, Wetland Restoration, Enhancement or Creation.  210—EFH, Rev. 5/97.  United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Services.

Streambank and Shoreline Protection

Engineering Field Handbook, chapter 16.

This chapter contains information concerning erosion problems on streambanks and shorelines only.  It describes the categories of protection available for use and relates how they can be used alone or in combination.

Tuttle, R.W., and Wenberg, R.D.  1996.  Engineering Field Handbook, chapter 16, Streambank and Shoreline Protection.  210-vi-EFH, December 1996.  United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Services.

Sampling Surface and Subsurface Particle-Size Distributions in Wadable Gravel- and Cobble-Bed Streams for Analyses in Sediment Transport, Hydraulics, and Streambed Monitoring  

This document provides guidance for sampling sediment from wadable gravel and cobble bed streams.  The document explains the field and laboratory measurement of particle sizes, the statistical analysis of particle-size distributions, and a variety of sampling methods.  It attempts to make a comprehensive compilation of sampling approaches and create a reference to guide users through the many aspects of bed-material sampling.

Bunte, K, and Abt, S.R.  2001.  Sampling Surface and subsurface particle-size distributions in wadable gravel- and cobble-bec streams for analyses in sediment transport, hydraulics, and streambed monitoring.  Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-74.  Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. P.428.

Technical Considerations for Evaluating Riverine/Riparian Restoration Projects

This report describes the status of current restoration practice, presents the functional framework, and discusses ways in which the framework can be applied.  It is the development of a framework to be used by districts when evaluating proposed restoration projects.

Fischenich, J.D.  2003.  Technical Considerations or Evaluating Riverine/Riparian Restoration Projects.  ERDC/EL TR-WRAP-03-XX, April 2003, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center Environmental Laboratory, Vicksburg, MS.


Lecture Outlines / Presentations

Power Point Files (Some are very large - right click and Save Target As)

Introductory slides

Fluvial System and Classification

Fluvial Tools

Dominant Discharge

Hydraulic Geometry (mostly downstream)


Meandering (abbreviated version presented in class)

Meandering – Braiding Threshold

Qualitative Response

Camp Hale

Geomorphic Complexity – Hyporheic Exchange – Nitrogen

Fish Passage

Ecological Perspectives / River Systems


Homework - HEC-2 Input File

Camp Hale Info

Homework - River Data

Reading Assignments


Interesting Links

EPA Rapid Bioassessment Protocols for Wadeable Streams and Small Rivers

USGS Home Page

US Army Corps of Engineers Hydrologic Engineering Center

Newbury Hydraulics

Wildland Hydrology

Center for Watershed Protection


Software Downloads - SAM and Gravel Bed Rivers files are self-extracting (you don't need Winzip)

GeoTool v.3f (Effective Discharge Software Demonstrated in Class)

Download HEC-RAS 4.1 (now with unsteady flow and stable channel design!!), HEC-6, HEC-2 and Manuals

Download SAM
Note:  SAM must be run out of a directory called C:\samexe unless you add C:\samexe to the PATH command in your AUTOEXEC.BAT file.  If you don't know what this means then you probably shouldn't do it as you could disable your computer.  The easiest way to run it is to simply open a DOS window and move to the c:\samexe directory and then type sam.

Download Gravel Bed Rivers

Sediment Transport References