Streambank erosion: mechanisms and mitigation techniques

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


This report presents a study of the various mechanisms that may cause erosion of streambanks and the corresponding mitigation techniques used to combat them. The determination of each may depend upon a number of considerations. The source of the information comes from a variety of reports and papers, which are referenced in the text.

Of all the mitigation techniques available to prevent streambank erosion, fabrics will generally offer the most cost effective method. Fabrics have had a good service record since their inception approximately 20 years ago. Further, as the technology continues to advance, it seems likely that fabric applications in this area will only increase. However, there are some concerns that need to be addressed. These include, assessment of geotextile performance in long term use under the different forces it will be subjected to, clogging potential of fabrics for various soil distributions, and the type of fabrics, woven or nonwoven, used in these applications. These factors should become more clearly defined as long term case study data becomes available.