Hydraulic analysis of river training cross-vanes as part of post-restoration monitoring
- 1Department of Environmental Resources Engineering, SUNY ESF, Syracuse, New York 13210, 315-470-6565, USA
- 2Department of Environmental Resources Engineering, SUNY ESF, Syracuse, New York 13210, USA
Abstract. River restoration design methods are incrementally improved by studying and learning from monitoring data in previous projects. In this paper we report post-restoration monitoring data and simulation analysis for a Natural Channel Design (NCD) restoration project along 1600 m of the Batavia Kill (14 km2 watershed) in the Catskill Mountains, NY. The restoration project was completed in 2002 with goals to reduce bank erosion and determine the efficacy of NCD approaches for restoring headwater streams in the Catskill Mountains, NY. The NCD approach used a reference-reach to determine channel form, empirical relations between the project site and reference site bankfull dimensions to size channel geometry, and hydraulic and sediment computations based on a bankfull (1.3 yr return interval) discharge to test channel capacity and sediment stability. The NCD project included 12 cross-vanes and 48 j-hook vanes as river training structures along 19 meander bends to protect against bank erosion and maintain scour pools for fish habitat. Monitoring data collected from 2002 to 2004 were used to identify aggradation of pools in meander bends and below some structures. Aggradation in pools was attributed to the meandering riffle-pool channel trending toward step-pool morphology and cross-vane arms not concentrating flow in the center of the channel. The aggradation subsequently caused flow splitting and 4 partial point bar avulsions during a spring 2005 flood with a 25-yr return interval. Processing the pre-flood monitoring data with hydraulic analysis software provided clues the reach was unstable and preventative maintenance was needed. River restoration and monitoring teams should be trained in robust hydraulic analytical methods that help them extend project restoration goals and structure stability.