Geomorphologist's Guide to Participating in River Rehabilitaiton
Gregory B. Pasternack
Elsevier, Inc. commissioned a multi-volume set of books, Treatise in Geomorphology, with volume nine devote to fluvial geomorphology. I was invited to write the chapter on river rehabilitation. A great many articles and reviews have been written about the problems with current rehabilitation practice, including but not limited to insufficient attention to goals and monitoring, misapplication of geomorphic principles, lack of awareness of watershed-scale dynamics on local conditions at a project site, and the need for "adaptive management", passive approaches, and a focus on processes. I noticed that much of the criticism involved academic scientists with little to no actual experience as practitioners themselves writing about how things ought to be done with no regard to the actual feasibility of applying such ideas. In my career I have tried to work across traditional career boundaries to not only do basic science informing river rehabilitation, but also be involved in all phases of rehabilitation projects, because that is where pure academic ideals come up against natural law. As a case in point, many academic notions stem from overly simplified assessment and prediction methods with invalid physical assumptions that lead to "gotcha" moments based on ostensibly common sense conclusions, whereas in fact the actual geomorphic processes revealed in rehabilitaiton projects show complex phenomenon and non-intuitive outcomes that require far more advanced methods to assess and predict accurately. As a result, I decided to focus my analysis of river rehabilitation on the forward-looking topic of getting more geomorphologists, including academics and their students, involved in river rehabilitation projects as team players. The result is a guide to such participation.
- Pasternack G.B. Geomorphologist’s Guide to Participating in River Rehabilitation. In: John F. Shroder (Editor-in-chief), Wohl, E. (Volume Editor). Treatise on Geomorphology, Vol 9, Fluvial Geomorphology, San Diego: Academic Press; 2013. p. 843-860.