A geomorphological justification of river channel reconnaissance surveys

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Abstract:

Geomorphologists involved in river management in many countries have shown an increasing interest in developing schemes for evaluating river channel geomorphology based on a single reconnaissance survey which uses skills of observation and interpretation. However, many questions surrounding this approach have yet to be resolved. This paper presents arguments to demonstrate first that reconnaissance surveys are the only viable source of relevant geomorphological data for many projects, secondly, that reconnaissance complements other components of integrated and multidisciplinary approaches to river management and, thirdly, that, although experience suggests that reconnaissance survey data can never be a substitute for detailed, repeat data collection, this limitation is more than offset by the external visibility and demystification afforded to the discipline of geomorphology by the surveys. Finally, comments are made on the potential for developing standardized approaches.

Keywords: engineering; fluvial geomorphology; geomorphological data; reconnaissance surveys; river channel management; river conservation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 1996

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