Developing a physically-based, geomorphic model to evaluate the probability of pipeline exposure at stream crossings

There are currently tens of thousands of locations throughout North America where pipelines cross stream channels. At these locations, instability of the stream bed and banks poses a serious risk to pipeline infrastructure, and has the potential to cause environmental harm. The objective of this internship is to improve the numerical models used to monitor the risk of channel instability associated with a range of flood magnitudes; currently the models don’t quantify the likelihood of the channel bed becoming mobile, and fail to consider the reach-scale processes of channel stability in a mechanistic manner. The model will be driven with data already collected at thousands of site surveys, and used as a screening tool to determine which sites are most vulnerable to pipe exposure, and therefore require more detailed field assessment. Based on the input variables required in the model, we will also develop a standardized field protocol to improve and focus data collection at future site assessments.

Faculty Supervisor:

Dr. Brett Eaton


Sarah Davidson


BGC Engineering


Geography / Geology / Earth science


Construction and infrastructure


University of British Columbia



Current openings

Find the perfect opportunity to put your academic skills and knowledge into practice!

Find Projects