The River Management Blog - Recent Articles

Not all logjams are created equal

I was excited this week to have a paper accepted in the journal Ecohydrology, not least as I think the findings could prove to be really useful for river restoration and river management. In this post I want to try and break down the implications of the research for river management/restoration practise. At a later date I’ll break down some of the science implications in another post.

At its simplest the paper is trying to link together the geometric form and architecture of a logjam and the changes in local erosion and deposition associated with it. There is a wealth of information in the academic literature on the effects of logjams at promoting particular features/habitats, such as a greater number of logjams in a river being related to a greater number of pools. Many river managers and river restoration professionals will probably know how to install a “tree kicker” to promote the scouring of fine sediment and creation of exposed gravels, by using an angled piece of wood to concentrate ambient flow and promote local scour.

What is a flood?

I read an interesting article on the BBC website today about the extensive flooding in Chennai, India. Tamil Nadu has seen huge amounts of rain recently, in the wettest December for 100 years and large parts of the city, including the airport are underwater. I’ve been paying particular attention to this event as I worked for a number of years with companies in Chennai and have many friends there. The article I mentioned fits in with a strange phenomenon I’ve written about before on the blog; the rush to apportion blame for flooding, something I don’t believe happens to the same degree for other natural disasters.