March 1, 2017

Bank Condition Classification

River bank condition reflects the stability of the streambank to the erosive forces of water. The classification considers streambank cover, height, slope, soil, and riparian condition to arrive at potential for erosion at high flows.

Visual classification of river bank condition was performed from the HDSS video for both the left and right bank of the river. This single viewing bank condition analysis consisted of 5 bank condition levels with 1 being the best and 5 being the worst.

  • Level 1, Optimal Condition: Banks currently in optimal condition or with low erosion potential, such as, bedrock outcroppings, heavily wooded areas, banks low slopes and with good access to flood plain.

  • Level 2, Good Condition: Banks currently in good condition with minor impacts present, such as, heavily forested with moderate bank angles and adequate access to flood plains.

  • Level 3, Average Condition: Banks showing moderate erosion impact or some impact from human development.

  • Level 4, Poor Condition: Surrounding area consists of a few trees with a few shrubs and grass. Obvious impacts from cattle, agriculture, industry, with poorly protected streambanks with little riparian diversity or surface protection.

  • Level 5, Very Poor Condition: Surrounding area consists of short grass or bare soil and steep bank angles. Evidence of active bank failure with very little stabilization from vegetation. Contribution of sediment likely to be very high in these areas.