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The RIVERMorph® software is a database oriented software system geared towards channel measurement data collection/storage, reference reach data collection/storage, river assessment/monitoring and engineering applications including natural channel design. As the field of river restoration is ever changing, it is the goal that the development of RIVERMorph® will be flexible enough to meet future needs of the profession. 

Currently, there are no database oriented computer programs designed to store geomorphic data that allow the user to query the stored data as part of the design process. This software package has been developed into an expert system for the design of natural channels, will allow the user to store all geomorphic data collected in one easy to access location will facilitate the development of geomorphically derived data such as regional curves and will provide a medium through which geomorphically derived data can be shared throughout the profession.

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RIVERMorph® features a state-of-the-art graphical user interface that is user friendly & allows quick access to stored data. RIVERMorph® stores river data in a database referenced by river name and reach name. River data is stored under a number of categories, all accessed through the data tree view in the left of the screen. Calculation tools are accessed through the toolbar buttons beneath the tree view. New rivers, reaches & data sets are all added within the data tree view. 


Cross Section Tool

Cross section data can be entered directly, copied from the Windows Clipboard, or imported from a HEC file. RIVERMorph® also provides a screen for entering survey data and performs data reduction for plotting the section. RIVERMorph® graphs the cross section data loaded into the current table. Bankfull hydraulic geometry is displayed based on bankfull indicators identified in the survey. A slide tool built into the cross section form allows the user to adjust the bankfull elevation and quickly recalculate bankfull dimensions.


Profile Tool

Longitudinal profiles are entered using a similar format to the Cross Section Tool. The graph provides options for smoothing water surface profiles due to data collection errors, and calculates regression lines through data points selected by the user. Average reach, riffle, run, glide and pool slopes are calculated from the graph using a variety of tools and can be stored directly into the database. RIVERMorph® also allows the user to quickly measure a variety of geomorphic parameters from the profile graph, such as pool-to-pool spacing and pool length. 


Channel Materials

The Channel Material tool calculates the particle size distribution of bed materials using data based on the Wolman pebble count method or data from sieve analyses. The percentage of various sizes of particles comprising the bed materials is computed and a slider tool can be used to determine the size of particle corresponding to a user defined percent finer. Critical data obtained from the particle size distribution analysis is stored in the RIVERMorph® database and can be easily retrieved for stream classification and sediment transport validation calculations. Results from the analysis can be graphed and printed. 


Stream Classification

RIVERMorph® determines stream classification using the Rosgen Classification system. Data for stream classification can be entered directly into RIVERMorph® or information stored in the database can be accessed to complete the classification. By checking the 'Reference Reach' tab in the upper left-hand corner, data from a particular reach can be stored as a reference reach for use with Natural Channel Design. 


Pfankuch Channel Stability

The Pfankuch Channel Stability assessment was developed to rate the relative stability of a channel based on a number of parameters. The user completes the Pfankuch Channel Stability form included in RIVERMorph® and the program calculates an overall Pfankuch rating. Using the Pfankuch rating, plus stream classification information, an overall reach condition rating is easily determined. 


Natural Channel Design

RIVERMorph® performs Natural Channel Design (NCD) using Reference Reach data entered by the user, or site specific data and sediment transport competency calculations. The user selects the Reference Reach, enters site-specific design information from the RIVERMorph® database, and sets up a new NCD that will be stored as a Reach in the database. In developing the NCD, RIVERMorph® allows users to set site constraints for the NCD Reach. Through the NCD, RIVERMorph® shows the new channel dimensions and classification results, and creates cross section and profile summaries that users can see. Meander geometry is plotted by sine-generated functions for each meander wavelength. 


Resistance Equations

Sometimes an NCD will require some portions of the channel to be steeper and have higher velocities; such as riffle lengths in a C4 stream type. A good way to calculate velocities in riffles is to use Manning's Equation with a roughness coefficient determined from bed materials and flow depth. Other options such as the Cowan Equation, published data stratified by stream type and references from photographs, are available for calculating roughness coefficients for the Manning Equation. Additionally, RIVERMorph® includes equations for calculating velocity based on the Chezy formula, the Darcy-Weisbach formula, and based on standard pipe flow equations. 

Regime Equations

RIVERMorph® provides industry accepted regime equations as well as allowing the user to create new equations for data entered into the RIVERMorph® database. The user simply drags a geomorphic variable from the left side of the screen into the equation and all available equations using those variables are loaded from the database. The primary regime equations in RIVERMorph® were published in a G. P. Williams paper titled "River Meanders and Channel Size" (1986). 

Gage Analysis

USGS gage data can be downloaded, displayed and analyzed by RIVERMorph®. The program facilitates a Log-Pearson Flood Frequency analysis used to calibrate bankfull at USGS gaging stations. Using this tool, the discharge applicable for a variety of return intervals can easily be calculated. Other gage features include hydraulic geometry plotting and regional curve creation.


Additional Info

RIVERMorph® includes a variety of other tools which facilitate survey data reduction, development of dimensionless ratios for Natural Channel Design, estimation of bank erodibility, biological assessments, and calculation of peak flows. Additionally, tools are available which facilitate the measurement of geomorphic parameters from aerial photography and/or topographic mapping.


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