A thorough understanding of the physical processes involved in fluvial and tidal environments is essential to the design and construction of our projects and enables us to ensure ‘best-practice’ solutions can be adopted in response to a range of management problems.

Central to cbec’s approach to geomorphic assessment is that of the ‘process-based’ philosophy.

Geomorphology is the scientific study of landforms and the processes that shape them.
geomorpholgy survey map

What is the ‘process-based’ approach?

Underlying the ‘process-based’ approach is the concept that understanding the fundamental geomorphic processes operating through a site is essential for identifying ‘cause and effect’ relating to impaired physical and ecological function.

This understanding permits the development of a management/restoration strategy that is appropriate to imposed physical conditions where self-sustaining recovery of the river to a more diverse condition is promoted.

In this way, the river itself will subsequently do the work of maintaining a ‘natural’ and dynamic environment with minimal requirement for subsequent intrusive interventions.

Experienced geomorphologists for surveys, assessments and design

  • Detailed topographic surveying of geomorphic form
  • Geomorphic surveys/fluvial audit/habitat mapping
  • Expert geomorphic interpretation and assessment
  • Sediment budgets
  • High resolution numerical modelling of geomorphic and sediment transport processes
  • Historical channel analyses
  • Specific stream power assessments
  • Process-based restoration design

cbec has developed a bespoke fluvial audit methodology, a key tool used in contemporary assessments of site conditions and the processes affecting these. This is a powerful method for providing a detailed understanding of the linkages between physical form/processes and ecological condition through relatively long sections of a river system and provides a basis for the objective prioritisation of management options.

Data collected during a fluvial audit, augmented with desk-based sources, allows us to understand catchment-scale patterns in geomorphic process/form and permits for robust predictions of how the river environment will respond to restoration/management measures.