Development and Application of a Multi-scale Process-Based Framework for the Hydromorphological Assessment of European Rivers
Many current river assessment methods emphasise the river ‘reach’ scale (a fixed length of river of the order of a few hundred meters) and provide a wealth of useful information that characterises the river corridor at the time of survey. However, they also have several limitations when they are used for understanding physical processes and causes of river alteration. A multi-scale, process-based framework is needed, which incorporates reach scale information into a larger spatial and temporal assessment of the controls on reach dynamics, and a process-based interpretation of the contemporary status of reaches, their historical dynamics and their likely future trajectories of adjustment. This paper reports on the early development and application of a multi-scale framework that is applicable to European rivers and is aimed at improving understanding of hydromorphological and ecological processes and their interactions. This ongoing research is part of the EU-funded project REFORM (REstoring rivers FOR effective catchment Management) which has the overall aim to provide a framework for improving the success of hydromorphological restoration measures in a cost-effective manner, targeting the ecological status or potential of rivers.
KeywordsRiver condition Spatial hierarchical framework Temporal change
Framework development within the REFORM collaborative project funded by the European Union Seventh Framework Programme (grant 282656) includes researchers from: Universitaet fuer Bodenkultur, Austria; Stichting Deltares, Netherlands; Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale, Italy; Institut Nationale de Recherche en Sciences et Technologies pour l’Environnment et l’Agriculture, France; Joint Research Centre—European Commission, Italy; Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, UK; Queen Mary, University of London, UK; Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italy; Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain; Szkola Glowna Gospodarstwa Wiejskiego, Poland.
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