Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dynamic Bed Causes Irregular Course Of River

Date:
December 23, 2005
Source:
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research
Summary:
How can you manage and design rivers such that no floods occur, whilst still ensuring navigation for shipping and a continuation of the agricultural, ecological and recreational functions? Dutch researcher Saskia van Vuren discovered that uncertainties in the behaviour of the riverbed play an important role in predicting the effects of design measures, such as lowering floodplains.

Van Vuren investigated the effect of the riverbed on the water level. The photos show high water in the River Waal in 2002 between Brakel and Zaltbommel.
Credit: Image courtesy of Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research

How can you manage and design rivers such that no floods occur, whilst still ensuring navigation for shipping and a continuation of the agricultural, ecological and recreational functions? Dutch researcher Saskia van Vuren discovered that uncertainties in the behaviour of the riverbed play an important role in predicting the effects of design measures, such as lowering floodplains.

In view of future large-scale projects, such as river improvement measures in the project 'Ruimte voor de rivier' [Room for the River], the societal relevance of responsible river management is increasing. The large-scale spatial redesigning of the Rhine Branches could result in greater dynamics in the riverbed, which could give rise to more problems for shipping. That might lead to increasing costs for maintenance dredging. Moreover an increase in the riverbed dynamics might also affect the high-water levels. Saskia van Vuren investigated the uncertainty in riverbed dynamics.

Changes in the riverbed elevation can give rise to high-water problems and flooding, drought problems which hinder shipping, problems with respect to the discharge distribution at bifurcation points, and erosion problems. Fluctuations in the groundwater level caused by these so-called morphological changes can exert an influence on the local ecology and agriculture. In her thesis, Van Vuren uses examples to illustrate how insights into the uncertain behaviour of the riverbed can support managers in the design, management and maintenance of the river.

A closer look at the Rhine

The researcher evaluated the effect of various river improvement measures along the Rhine on the riverbed, such as lowering floodplains, constructing secondary channels, and setting back dikes. Some locations were found to be more sensitive to management measures than others. This comes to light in the average changes, the variability and the seasonal dependency of the shape of the riverbed.

At present, the hydraulic models used by river managers for high-water level predictions often assume a fixed bed elevation. Van Vuren discovered that mid-term variations in the bed elevation and bed activity around bifurcation points influence high-water levels. This being the case the researcher argues that in future, high-water level predictions must take morphological dynamics (how the riverbed changes in response to altered circumstances) into account.

Saskia van Vuren's research was funded by Technology Foundation STW.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. "Dynamic Bed Causes Irregular Course Of River." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 December 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051221085535.htm>.
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. (2005, December 23). Dynamic Bed Causes Irregular Course Of River. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051221085535.htm
Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research. "Dynamic Bed Causes Irregular Course Of River." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/12/051221085535.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Federal researchers are exploring more than a dozen underwater sites where they believe ships sank in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Isolated N. Korea Asks For International Help With Volcano

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) Mount Paektu volcano in North Korea is showing signs of life and there's not much known about it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins