The effects of variability in bank material properties on riverbank stability: Goodwin Creek, Mississippi
Parker, C. , Simon, A. and Thorne, C. (2008) The effects of variability in bank material properties on riverbank stability: Goodwin Creek, Mississippi. Geomorphology, 101 (4). pp. 533-543. ISSN 0169-555X
Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2008.02.0...
Bank erosion is an important area of research within fluvial geomorphology and is a land management problem of global significance. The Yazoo River Basin in Mississippi is one example of a system which is a victim of excessive erosion and bank instability. The properties of bank materials are important in controlling the stability of stream banks and past studies have found that these properties are often variable spatially. Through an investigation of bank material properties on a stretch of Goodwin Creek in the Yazoo Basin, Mississippi, this study focuses on: i) how and why effective bank material properties vary through different scales; ii) how this variation impacts on the outputs from a bank stability model; and iii) how best to appropriately represent this variability within a bank stability model. The study demonstrates the importance that the variability of effective bank material properties has on bank stability: at both the micro-scale within a site, and at the meso-scale between sites in a reach. This variability was shown to have important implications for the usage of the Bank-Stability and Toe-Erosion Model (BSTEM), a deterministic bank stability model that currently uses a single value to describe each bank material property. As a result, a probabilistic representation of effective bank material strength parameters is recommended as a potential solution for any bank stability model that wishes to account for the important influence of the inherent variability of soil properties.
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