The Role of Vegetation in River Bank Erosion

by Donald H. Gray, Univ of Michigan, United States,
Anne MacDonald, Univ of Michigan, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


The purpose of this paper is to describe briefly how streambank vegetation, both roots and shoots, modify the 'skin' or surface layer and how this in turn affects these two processes. The findings described herein are based in part on a field study of root distribution and architecture in a sandy, channel levee along the Sacramento River in California. Root concentrations were determined using the profile wall method in which root cross sections are exposed in the vertical wall of an excavated trench. Transects were excavated running both parallel and perpendicular to the crest of the levee through areas dominated by different woody plant species typical of riparian vegetation. Study results are discussed.

Subject Headings: Vegetation | River bank stabilization | Erosion | Field tests | Excavation | Architecture | Cross sections | Trenches | California | United States

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