Environmentally significant morphological and hydraulic characteristics of cobble and boulder bed rivers in the Western Cape

Jonker, V. (Verno) (2002-12)

Thesis (PhDEng)--University of Stellenbosch, 2002.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The interaction between moving water and the physical attributes of a river, as displayed by the channel morphology, determines the availability of physical habitat for aquatic species and thus also the condition of the ecosystem. As such, the environmental flow assessment process requires knowledge on how changes in the flow regime will affect both the morphological and hydraulic conditions within a river channel. With the increasing development of water-related infrastructure in mountain regions, knowledge of the morphological and hydraulic characteristics of rivers in the upper catchment areas is very important. Cobble and boulder bed rivers in the Western Cape are typical examples. They are characterized by steep gradients, great variability in sediment size and relatively low flow depths. The bed configuration contains a series of pools, steps, rapids, riffles and plane beds, while energy losses are high as a result of turbulence and hydraulic jumps. Due to their wideranging morphological and associated hydraulic attributes, the physical habitats within these rivers are extremely diverse, both on a spatial and temporal scale. This study addresses the interaction between moving water and the physical attributes of cobble and boulder bed rivers. Empirical, semi-empirical and theoretically based models are developed which define the hydraulic and morphological related characteristics of environmental flow components in cobble and boulder bed rivers. They cover macro scale channel deformation, the scouring of sand from the interstitial spaces between the cobbles as well as velocity-depth relationships, which prove to be key components in the assessment of environmental flow requirements in cobble and boulder bed rivers.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die wisselwerking tussen die vloeiende water en die fisiese eienskappe van 'n rivier, soos beskryf deur die morfologie, bepaal die beskikbaarheid van habitat vir akwatiese spesies en gevolglik ook die welstand van die ekosisteem. Kennis omtrent die impak van 'n veranderde vloei regime op beide die morfologiese en die hidrouliese toestande in 'n rivierloop is dus nodig vir die bepaling van omgewingsvloeibehoeftes. Met die toenemende ontwikkeling van water-verwante infrastruktuur in bergagtige gebiede is 'n grondige kennis van die morfologiese en hidrouliese eienskappe van riviere in hierdie bo-opvanggebiede gebiededend noodsaaklik. Spoelklip riviere in die Wes-Kaap is tipiese voorbeelde van sulke riviere. Hierdie riviere word gekenmerk deur steil hellings, 'n wye verskeidenheid sedimentgroottes, relatiewe lae vloeidieptes en hoë energieverliese as gevolg van turbulensie. Verder bevat die ri vierbed afwisselend poele en stroomversnellings en gevolglik word 'n wye verskeidenheid habitat tipes in hierdie riviere aangetref. Hierdie studie fokus op die interaksie tussen bewegende water en die fisiese eienskappe van spoelklip riviere. Met behulp van empiriese, semi-empiriese en teoretiese modelle word die morfologiese en hidrouliese eienskappe van omgewingsvloeibehoeftes in spoelklip riviere aangespreek. Dit sluit makroskaal kanaal vervorming, die uitskuur van sand tusen die spoelklippe asook die verwantskap tussen vloeisnelheid en vloeidiepte in. Hierdie aspekte kan beskou word as van die sleutel elemente vir die bepaling van omgewingsvloeibehoeftes in spoelklip riviere.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52826
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