Exploring the use of physical modelling for assessing urban stream restoration design

Urban streams are prone to flooding and bank erosion as a result of the large amount of stormwater that is transported into the channel across the paved floodplain. Many streams in urban areas are being restored to a more natural state so that they are able to accommodate flood pulses as well as to increase habitat areas in and around the channel. Prior to the installation of restoration designs in urban areas, it is necessary to test that they will hold up under a range of flows and sedimentation. Physical modelling is useful in predicting channel response to imposed conditions, however it is not commonly used to test urban stream restoration designs. In this project we will 1) explore the use of physical modelling for testing the effectiveness of a design developed by GEO Morphix, and 2) design and build a small physical model for use in the GEO Morphix office. This project will equip GEO Morphix with a new rigorous method of testing their urban stream restoration designs prior to installation.

Faculty Supervisor:

Brett Eaton


Lucy MacKenzie


GEO Morphix


Geography / Geology / Earth science


Natural resources




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