Geomorphic Studies

What We Can Do:

Understanding the current behavior, stability, and past history of estuaries or rivers is critical to the management of a region's water, as well as predicting future actions. Geomorphic studies provide critical insight into these waterways, allowing people to develop sustainable river engineering works, manage flooding, develop water supply infrastructure, and restore/manage natural habitats.

British Columbia:
Derek Ray
Brent Wolfe
Robyn Andrishak
Erik Rowland
Ed Wallace
Marc Villeneuve
Asia and Africa:
Knut Oberhagemann
Latin America:
Guilherme deLima

NHC's geomorphic studies often precede or accompany hydrologic, hydraulic, and sediment transport analyses in a watershed-based approach to design and management.

Services & Experience:

  • Sediment Sources and Budgets
    NHC identifies and quantifies sediment sources to analyze sediment transport and budgets. This helps address concerns with reservoir sedimentation, water quality, and multi-objective management options.
  • Stream Morphology and Processes
    Our experts assist in designing stable channels, determining scour and erosion potential, and formulating restoration plans. Services include investigating and classifying stream morphology, evaluating stream stability and processes, analyzing historical trends, and geomorphic mapping.
  • Erosion Studies
    Potential hazards associated with bank erosion, flooding, or channel shifting are identified. Studies are typically performed for the design of bridges, highways, flood control levees, water intakes, and other river engineering facilities.
  • Restoration Studies
    We examine the effects of channel and floodplain morphology, and processes on aquatic and riparian habitats. Restoration concepts can be developed that incorporate geomorphic principals.
  • River Evolution Studies
    Our work can predict future watershed and stream conditions based on integrating historical conditions, sediment budget, stream analysis, and other geomorphic studies.
  • Depth of Experience
    Since 1972, NHC has conducted geomorphic studies contributing to many design, management, and restoration projects in North America, Asia, and Latin America. North American clients have included federal, state/provincial, county/regional district, and city governments, as well as watershed conservation groups and private companies. Overseas clients have also included national governments, banks, and international agencies.

McLymont Creek Hydroelectric
Project sediment monitoring

Bedford Channel
bank stability assessment

Channel Shift Map for Sacramento River bank protection study, Sacramento, CA

Suspended sediment sampling, Sacramento River, CA

Technical Approach & Capabilities:

  • NHC employs senior specialists that have many years of experience in observing, assessing, and analyzing watersheds and rivers. A long-term perspective is integrated into our project planning and design.
  • Full field service capabilities including surveys, mapping of geomorphic features, measurements of erosion, streamflow gaging, and sediment gaging.
  • Specialized technical tools and capabilities are also utilized such as unique GIS applications and detailed field studies to measure varying land conditions.

Benefits & Results:

  • Technical insights for incorporation into effective planning and management of river-related projects.
  • Incorporation of long-term sustainable planning practices in river management and restoration design.