Concepts for Post Flood River Corridor Restoration

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1 Concepts for Post-Flood River Corridor Restoration Dave Rosgen, P.H., Ph.D. Wildland Hydrology Fort Collins, Colorado A Special Thanks to our Sponsors: Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 1

2 Workshop Goals To share common solutions to common problems dealing with the post-flood stream and river corridor restoration Goals, con t To promote a discussion of the dilemma and challenges of developing rapid restoration strategies under an array of complex, impaired river systems with mixed ownerships and jurisdictions under severe time and financial constraints Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 2

3 Goals, con t To provide a forum and dialog for landowners, agencies, consultants, conservation groups and other entities to establish and agree upon common objectives and combine the collective expertise and experience to prescribe a common direction Goals, con t To share ideas and lessons learned and present various restoration scenario solutions that depart from the traditional hard control approaches of past efforts Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 3

4 Goals, con t Offer recommendations to help solve communication difficulties among the scientists, practitioners, and landowners Two Major Efforts are Presently Underway 1. Emergency Work: transportation corridors utilities recovery channel and debris clearance infrastructure risk and reduction 2. Stream Corridor Restoration (Planning) Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 4

5 Presentation Outline A. Common objectives B. Common post-flood constraints and challenges C. Traditional solutions D. Development of a master plan for the watershed and stream corridor E. Training and experience for implementation Presentation Outline F. River fundamentals G. Geomorphology-based Natural Channel Design Approach H. Restoration structures I. Restoration examples J. Discussion and question/answer session Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 5

6 A. Common Objectives Reduce risk of further damage to infrastructure and land loss from subsequent flows Repair infrastructure (bridges, roads, transmission lines) Accelerate the recovery of physical stability Re-establish physical and ecological functions and values Restore fish habitat diversity Prevent similar damage from future flooding The more detailed the objectives list, the more focused the varied solutions must be to meet the objectives Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 6

7 B. Constraints: Limited Budgets and Short-Time Frames Must create sustainable, long-term solutions instead of temporary fixes Must understand the time, economic, and social/political constraints imposed on the nature of this work Decisions need to be made on how much room the river needs How much increased encroachment can be allowed on the river without having similar future problems? B. Constraints Have flood levels or limits changed where are they? What can be done to minimize future flood risk? What permits are needed? How are restoration priorities set? Who determines what should be done? Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 7

8 C. Traditional Solutions Aggrading, over-wide, straightened, and leveed flood-control project Colorado Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 8

9 Comparison of multi-stage channel system with traditional one size fits all flows Over-wide channels for culvert & bridge crossings Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 9

10 Over-widened, two cell bridge on I-25 with no floodplain drain-through fill Plum Creek, Colorado Culvert forcing a three-stage channel note invert of floodplain drain culverts (F to C stream type conversion) Maryland Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 10

11 D. The Watershed Master Plan Documents common objectives Can serve as a pre-flood preparedness document Sets criteria and a direction for a central clearing house Duties of the Central Clearing House Communicate and coordinate among all entities Responsible for the implementation of a master plan Help direct efforts to answer typical questions from flood victims of what to do, where to go, who will help, when and how will it all happen, etc. Obtain consensus and secure necessary right-ofway easements from multiple ownerships Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 11

12 Duties of the Central Clearing House Assist in securing and distributing funds Help provide trained consultants and others for contracting Assist with on-going changes and updates to the master plan Establish various restoration scenarios for a range of impairments Establish methods for relocating, shaping, and sizing channels and floodplains Develop stream stabilization and enhancement structures: materials and methods The Contents of a Master Plan Fundamental criteria of minimum standards for stream functioning and understanding central tendencies of the stable river Recommended emergency flood response compatible with river process Regional hydrology and sediment curves Inventory of fluvial landscape types and stream types Reference reach data (stable stream dimension, pattern, and profile data) A watershed-based, rapid assessment of the nature, extent, and consequence of disturbance Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 12

13 E. Training & Experience for Implementation Identify the availability of trained individuals/teams Provide training opportunities for assessment, design, and construction implementation Locate organizations and experienced individuals with special training for mentoring or to help accomplish unique tasks requiring special expertise Set up demonstration reaches to show others F. River Fundamentals River Restoration Definition to establish the physical, chemical, and biological functions of the river system that are self-regulating and emulate the natural stable form within the constraints imposed by the larger landscape conditions. A river system includes not only the river channel but also its related components, including adjacent floodplains, wetlands, and associated riparian communities Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 13

14 Channel Stability The ability of a stream, over time, in the present climate, to transport the sediment and streamflows produced by its watershed in such a manner that its dimension, pattern and profile are maintained without aggrading nor degrading Schematic of the Lane Relationship for Qualitative Analysis Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 14

15 Fall River following the 10,000 yr flood event through C4 stream type Rocky Mountain National Park, CO Reference Reach: Fall River Rocky Mountain National Park, CO Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 15

16 Stream Channel Dimensions Stream width is a function of: streamflow occurrence and magnitude size and type of transported sediment bed and bank materials of the channel A channel can have a stable width even though the stream is migrating laterally at a constant annual rate Stream channel morphology is often described in terms of a width/depth ratio related to the bankfull stage cross-section Dimension, Pattern & Profile Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 16

17 Stream Channel Patterns Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 17

18 G. The Natural Channel Design Approach Work with the river not against it Understand the natural stable tendencies of rivers and accelerate the recovery processes See handout for summary of the NCD method in Stream Restoration in Dynamic Fluvial Systems by the American Geophysical Union The Ten Phases of Natural Channel Design: I. Define Restoration Objectives II. Develop Local & Regional Relations III. Conduct Watershed, River & Biological Assessments IV. Consider Passive Recommendations for Restoration V. Develop Conceptual Design Plan VI. Develop & Evaluate the Preliminary Natural Channel Design VII. Design Stabilization & Enhancement Structures VIII. Finalize Natural Channel Design IX. Implement Natural Channel Design X. Conduct Monitoring & Maintenance Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 18

19 Stream Types Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 19

20 Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 20

21 The Multi-Stage Channel Design 1. The Low-Flow or Inner-Berm Channel 2. The Bankfull Stage Channel 3. The Active Floodplain at Incipient Point of Flooding 4. The Infrequent but Highest Flood-Level Stage Typical for C stream types in terraced, alluvial valleys The Three-Stage Channel 1. The Low-Flow or Inner-Berm Channel 2. The Bankfull Stage Channel 3. The Flood-Prone Area Typical for B stream types in colluvial valley type Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 21

22 The Watershed Context: Integrating Physical & Biological Relations NCD Prediction Methods: 1. Analog 2. Analytical 3. Empirical Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 22

23 Figure Extracted from Hinton Dissertation, 2012 Applications: Putting Principles into Practice The Big Thompson Flood, Colorado, 1976 Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 23

24 Restored view 35 years later, August, 2011 The Big Thompson River, Colorado The Big Thompson River, Colorado, 2011 Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 24

25 The Big Thompson River, 2014 Road Encroachment Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 25

26 H. Restoration Structures Restoration structures are used in conjunction with a variety of restoration scenarios to: Buy time for the vegetation to re-establish Provide streambank stability Protect infrastructure Dissipate energy Provide grade control Enhance fish habitat Provide irrigation diversions Extract excess sediment (vortex sediment tubes) Root Wad, Log Vane J-Hook Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 26

27 Eroding, high, steep, shale bank with bankfull bench and rock J-Hook Vanes Blue River, Colorado First year following flood note sediment and volunteer cottonwood seedlings Blue River, Colorado Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 27

28 Blue River bench six years later Converting a G4 (Gulley) to a stable B4 stream type with log and rock rollers Roaring Fork, Colorado Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 28

29 Braided (D4) conversion to meandering C4 Blanco River, Colorado Blanco River, Colorado, Braided (D4), 1987 Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 29

30 Blanco River, C4, meandering single-thread channel, 24 years and many floods later An actively eroding terrace bank with threatened loss of homes, Bitterroot River, Victor Montana Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 30

31 Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 31

32 Toe Wood with bankfull bench following three years of major flooding no streambank erosion Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 32

33 A Before photo looking downstream An After photo during flood Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 33

34 A Before photo After photo using Toe Wood with no rip-rap, gabions, or other hard-control measures Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 34

35 A gold mine of root wads, logs and debris used for Toe Wood, gathered from flood debris along river corridor Big Wood River (braided) using Toe Wood to prevent land loss from streambank erosion and fish habitat Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 35

36 Same bank at low flow Vortex tube, sediment extractor, Blanco River Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 36

37 Water-sediment mixture filling off-channel pond Annual accumulation of dredged sediment Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 37

38 Headcut gulley cutting into an alluvial fan Waldo Canyon Fire, Colorado Sediment and flood detention basin below gully Waldo Canyon Fire, Colorado Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 38

39 Sediment basin filled following flood Waldo Canyon Fire, Colorado An incised, eroding channel (F4) on an alluvial fan, Trail Creek, fire and floods Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 39

40 Converted from F4 to D4 (braided) with debris basins on alluvial fan 6 ft. of sediment deposition in 20 ft. over-wide box culvert, Trail Creek Before Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 40

41 Three-stage channel design including floodplain drains using same box Trail Creek After Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 41

42 Rio Grande River, CO Irrigation Diversion using the Cross-Vane with Sediment Sluice Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 42

43 Cross-Vane and Head Gate with Sediment Sluice Plan View 1/3 1/3 1/3 20 o -30 o 20 o -30 o Cut-off Sill Wing Wall Head gate Flow Sediment sluice gate with screw gate valve Plan View Irrigation head gatesediment sluice Sediment sluice gate HEAD-GATE (Screw Valve) Flow Back to river To ditch Side View Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 43

44 Sediment sluice screwgate valve & headgate valve Blue River, Colorado Sediment sluice screwgate valve & headgate valve Blue River, CO Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 44

45 Double-step Cross-Vane diversion during bankfull East Fork Piedra River, Colorado Ohio Creek, CO, 2004 Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 45

46 Cross-Vane Diversion Middle Fork, Little Snake River, CO Cross-Vane Diversion Blue River, CO Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 46

47 I. Restoration Examples Watershed Assessment for Sediment Supply and Stream Stability (WARSSS) and Natural Channel Design Trail Creek Watershed How to extrapolate design criteria and relations for large areas and many miles of river reaches with very short time constraints? Summary of sediment sources by process for sub-watersheds Trail Creek Watershed Erosional or Depositional Processes Total Annual Sediment Yield (tons/yr) Percent of Total introduced Sediment Surface Erosion 2,542 12% Roads & Trails 848 4% Streambanks 18,118 84% Total Introduced Sediment 21, % Erosional or Depositional Processes Post Fire Flow related Total Sediment Yield (FLOWSED) Total Annual Sediment Yield (tons/yr) Sediment Deposition/ Increased Channel Storage (tons/yr) 20, Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 47

48 Representative & Reference Reaches established Remember the various scenarios of stream succession? Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 48

49 Design Concept: Channel Processes Convert Unstable stream types to Stable stream types following stream succession Create D4 braided channels on tributaries with large alluvial fans to deposit sediment Purposes of Typical Design Scenarios Provide design details for each scenario Can extrapolate scenarios to other locations in the Trail Creek Watershed where high level of detail was not obtained but is assumed to be similar based on similar stream types, stability and boundary conditions (valley types) that were mapped for entire watershed Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 49

50 Design Concept: Channel Processes F4b conversion to D4 (braided) on alluvial fan Design Concept: Convert F4b tributaries to D4 stream types on wide alluvial fans Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 50

51 Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 51

52 Design Concept: Channel Processes D4 (braided) conversion to C4 in alluvial fill valleys Design Concept: Convert D4 stream types to C4 in alluvial fill valleys Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 52

53 A braided (D4) stream type Trail Creek Converted to a single-thread, multi-stage, meandering C4 stream type Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 53

54 Design Concept: Channel Processes F4, F4b, and G4 stream types to B4c and B4 stream types Design Concept: Convert G4, F4 & F4 b stream types to B4 or B4c Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 54

55 F4, entrenched stream type Trail Creek Converted to B4 stream type Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 55

56 Sediment Reductions: Existing vs. Proposed Reaches Sediment analysis utilizes sediment curves by stability to show sediment reduction Existing, impaired reach uses Poor curves Restored reach uses Good curves Good/Fair DSRC Poor DSRC Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 56

57 Design Riffle Area & Discharge computed from regional curves Weminuche Creek (Before) Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 57

58 Weminuche Creek (After) Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 58

59 Haul II access bridge wash out Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 59

60 Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 60

61 Western Mobile Zweck and Turner headgate Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 61

62 Heil Valley Ranch, Geer Canyon Drive Left Hand Creek new channel/bank erosion Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 62

63 Poudre Pass Creek streambank stabilization other alternatives?? Replace the fill without floodplain drains? Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 63

64 Grading floodplains, shaping channels and re-establishing irrigation canals, diversion works Debris flows and deposition of coarse bedload What can be done here? Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 64

65 Incised, headcut channels Solution? Debris Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 65

66 Lowered base level of St. Vrain Creek What can be done with the incised and enlarged channel? St. Vrain Creek near confluence with Boulder Creek, 1950 channel (yellow), 1968 (green), 2012 (blue), post-flood, (pink): (J. Krick) Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 66

67 General Recommendations & Summary Conduct a watershed assessment that identifies risk from excess sediment due to streambank erosion, debris flows, and other variables from upstream that can defeat local reach repairs Be aware of the fallacy of returning the channel to the pre-flood condition Understand the cause and consequence of change Determine how much room to leave for the river/floodplain limit encroachment General Recommendations & Summary Develop a Master Plan Develop specific restoration scenarios for extrapolation of similar applications over widespread areas Establish a central clearing house for coordination, communication, and project implementation Make the process integrated and transparent for all to see and understand Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 67

68 J. Discussion and question/answer session Copyright 2014 Wildland Hydrology 68

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