Predicting Stream Width and Bank Retreat

by Kuen D. Tsay, Pacific Gas and Electric Co, San Francisco, United States,
Emmett M. Laursen, Pacific Gas and Electric Co, San Francisco, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulics/Hydrology of Arid Lands (H²AL)

Abstract: The width of streams is dependent on the flood flow discharge which varies from year to year, the bank material which varies from stream to stream and reach to reach, the sediment load which varies from stream to stream and flood to flood, the resistance to flow which varies many ways, and probably other factors. Bank retreat can also occur because of the variability in bank shear due to the flow patterns of the non-uniform flow in natural, non-straight rivers, and because of the variation in the erodibility of the alluvially deposited bank material. Stream widening and bank retreat can be estimated to a fair degree of confident if data from past events is supplemented by measurements that can be obtained today, and reality is interpreted through theory based on what we know about sediment transport and river behavior.

Subject Headings: River bank stabilization | Flow resistance | River flow | Floods | Load and resistance factor design | Nonuniform flow | Sediment transport | Water flow

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