Master of Arts (MA)
Geography & Environmental Studies
Faculty of Arts
The purpose of this project was to investigate various aspects of river channel stability as they relate to ﬁsh habitat. Two headwater creeks of the Credit River system, Black and Silver Creeks, and their conﬂuent stream, the West Credit River in Southern Ontario were used in the study. Thirty-ﬁve cross-sections were established and revisited during four ﬂow regimes, summer base flow, fall secondary peak ﬂow, spring melt-high ﬂow and post-spring high ﬂow. Measurements of width, depth and temperature were taken at these times. Water samples were taken for determination of suspended sediment concentration. Channel stability was investigated in relation to three major factors: stability of the ﬂuid, stability of the bed, and stability of the banks. Fluid stability measurements involved measuring ﬂuid speeds vertically and laterally through each cross-section under the four ﬂow regimes. Individual experiments at the confluence area were conducted because of some of the earlier results from other sections of creek. Information on the rates of change of discharge were determined from secondary data provided by the Water Survey of Canada. Bed stability was measured by looking at bed material particle size distribution, cross-sectional channel proﬁles and control reach topographical surveys which included particle marking and tracking. Bedload transport rates at the conﬂuence area were determined under varying ﬂow conditions. Bank stability was investigated by the use of a piece of equipment developed for this thesis, the River Bank Proﬁler. Volumetric changes to banks consisting of cohesive as well as cohesionless material are presented for comparative purposes. As changes in river channel stability can have a direct impact on resident fish, investigation of the biological literature was used as a framework for the geomorphological work. It became apparent that there is a direct application of ﬂuvial geomorphology in that biologists are stating a direct need for more geomorphological work in the area of fish habitats. A conceptual framework showing the relationship between properties of ﬂuid, bed and bank stability and the degree of interconnectedness is presented to aid both the geomorphologist and the biologist when looking at aspects of fish habitat from a geomorphological perspective.
Beebe, John T., "River channel stability and the implications for fish habitat" (1992). Theses and Dissertations (Comprehensive). 366.