Hydromorphological pressures and the measures undertaken to address them are an important element of the delivery of the WFD within the United Kingdom. While assessment procedures currently employed gather useful morphological information for river reaches and their immediate margins and some process information, crucial information on key processes is missing and information gathered on the riparian zone and floodplain is limited. This article presents a newly developed framework that enables existing data to be placed within a multiscale, process-based context.
The framework has great promise for diagnosing hydromorphological pressures, identifying where and how natural recovery is likely to take place, and where more interventionist restoration techniques may be needed. The ability to consider trajectories of river channel adjustments could help us understand how watercourses are still responding to historic changes, improve our confidence in applying restoration measures and the likely hydromorphological consequences of future climae changes.
England, J., & Gurnell, A. M. (2016). Incorporating catchment to reach scale processes into hydromorphological assessment in the UK. Water and Environment Journal.