Maroto, Judit and Marchamalo Sacristán, Miguel and García de Jalón Lastra, Diego and Gonzalez del Tanago del Rio, Marta and Martínez Marín, Rubén
Integrated methodology for assessing the effects of geomorphological river restoration on fish habitat and riparian vegetation.
In: "Ecohydraulics: linkages betweenhydraulics, morphodynamics and ecological processes in rivers", 15/06/2011 - 17/06/2011, Clermont-Ferrand, Francia.
Changes in the geomorphology of rivers have serious repercussions, causing losses in the dynamics and naturalness of their forms, going in many cases, from a type of meandering channel, with constant erosion and sedimentation processes, to a channelized narrow river with rigid and stable margins, where the only possibility of movement occurs in the vertical, causing the only changes in channel geometry occur in the river bed. On the other hand, these changes seriously affect the naturalness of the banks, preventing the development of riparian vegetation and reducing the cross connectivity of the riparian corridor. Common canalizations and disconnections of meanders increase the slope, and therefore speed, resulting in processes of regressive erosion, effect increased as a result of the narrowing of the channel and the concentration of flows. This process of incision may turn the flood plain to be "hung", being completely disconnected from the water table, with important consequences for vegetation. As an example of the effects of these changes, it has been chosen the case of the Arga River The Arga river has been channelized and rectified, as it passes along the meander RamalHondo and Soto Gil (Funes, Navarra). The effects on fish habitat and riparian vegetation by remeandering the Arga River are presented. and Ttwo very contrasting situationsrestoration hypothesis, in terms of geomorphology concerns, have been established to assess the effects these changes have on the habitat of one of the major fish species in the area (Luciobabus graellsii) and on the riparian vegetation. To accomplish this goal, it has been necessary to used the a digital elevation model provided by LIDAR flight, bathymetric data, flow data, as inputs, and a hydraulic simulation model 2D (Infoworks RS). The results obtained not only helped to evaluate the effects of the past alterations of geomorphologic characteristics, but also to predict fish and vegetation habitat responses to this type of changes.