Multi-lingual glossary

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The multilingual REFORM glossary explains key terminology for hydromorphological river restoration. The English glossary is shown in the table below. The English to other language translations can be found trough the following links: Dutch, Spanish, Polish, Czech, Italian, German, Greek and French.

You did not find the term you are looking for? Then try also one of the following glossaries:

http://www.wiser.eu/glossary/

http://glossary.eea.europa.eu/

http://www.wfduk.org/wfd_concepts/CIS_Glossary

http://www.edwardsaquifer.net/glossary.html

http://www.freshwaterplatform.eu/index.php/glossary.html

English Explanation
Alluvial deposits Sediments deposited by modern rivers and streams
Alluvial river River with a bed consisting of sediments deposited by this river and still actively remolded by erosion and sedimentation
Alluvium Sediment deposits
Anabranched river River consisting of a network of channels separated by large islands that are usually vegetated
Anadromous Adjective indicating fish that spawn in fresh water after spending most of their lives and becoming mature in the sea. See also
Aquifer Water-bearing layer of porous subsurface material that can yield usable quantities of water
Backswamps Wetlands in the lowest areas of the valley floor away from the main channel, storing fine-grained suspended-load sediments
Backwater effect Influence from downstream conditions on water levels and flow velocities
Bank Lateral channel boundary
Bankfull discharge Discharge at which water levels reach the top of the river banks
Bar Submerged or emerged bedform of sand, gravel, or other unconsolidated material, built in shallow water and much longer than the water depth
Base flow Sustained low flow in a stream, mostly fed by groundwater discharge
Bathymetry Spatial distribution of water depths below an agreed plane of reference water levels. As this plane has a slope in rivers, bathymetry should not be confused with
Bed level Elevation of bottom of river or stream above a horizontal datum
Bedload Sediment transported by rolling, sliding or jumping over the bed
Bed-material load Transport of sediment that is also found in the river bed. It can be transported as both and
Bedrock Consolidated subsurface material that underlies soils or other unconsolidated material
Bed shear stress Tangential forces per unit bed area exerted by the flow on the river bed, as a measure of flow strength. See also and
Bed topography Spatial distribution of bed elevations with respect to a horizontal datum, not to be confused with
Bench Sediment deposition unit along a bank face. Also
Benthic Living at or in the bottom of a fresh or salty body of water. Opposed to
Benthos Plants and animals that live in, on or attached to the bottom of water bodies
Berm Sediment deposition unit along a bank face. Also
Biogeographical region Relatively large area that contains characteristic assemblages of natural communities and species that are the product of broad environmental influences and common evolutionary and immigration history. See
Bivalve A mollusk with two shells, for instance a clam or a mussel
Boulders Rock fragments larger than 200 mm in diameter
Braided river River consisting of a network of smaller channels separated by small and often temporary non-vegetated islands called braid bars
Buffer strip Vegetation along a stream left intact after logging or land clearing, preventing fine sediment from entering into the stream
Cascade Stream bed covered with disorganized boulders in steep confined channels
Catadromous Adjective indicating fish that spawn in the open sea after spending their lives and becoming mature in fresh water. See also
Catchment Area of land drained by a river and its tributaries. Also or . Catchment is a spatial unit within the multi-scale of hydromorphological processes and forms
Chute channel Channel across a bar or floodplain, shortcutting the flow in the main channel
Clay Mineral soil particle smaller than 0.002 mm in diameter
Cobbles Rock fragments between 63 mm and 200 mm in diameter
Crenal Zone of stream source in longitudinal habitat zonation, also . See also and
Crevasse Breach in natural levee
Crevasse splay Local accumulation of sand or gravel, deposited by water escaping from the channel through a
Crossing Relatively shallow zone between two consecutive bends in navigable rivers. Also
Cross-over Relatively shallow zone between two consecutive bends in navigable rivers. Also
Crustacean Invertebrate animal (without backbone) with a hard exoskeleton (external support or protection of the body) and at least five pairs of jointed legs on the thorax
Current Movement of water in a water body
Datum Reference elevation level, for instance mean sea level
Degradation In hydromorphology: Lowering of bed elevation by erosion or removal of sediment. In ecology: Damaged condition of habitat
Discharge Volume of water that flows through a section per unit of time
Drainage basin Area of land drained by a river and its tributaries. Also or . is a spatial unit within the multi-scale of hydromorphological processes and forms
Dune Bedform with a height in the order of tens of percent of the water depth. Two-dimensional dunes have long crests perpendicular to the flow. Three-dimensional dunes have short crests.
Ecoregion See and .
Emergent plant Plant rooted in shallow water with much of the stem and most of the leaves above the water
Eurytopic Adjective for aquatic species that tolerate both stagnant and flowing water conditions. See also and
Floodplain Land bordering a river or a stream, built up of sediments from overbank flows and subject to inundation at floods
Flow resistance Forces opposing the discharge of water. A low flow resistance implies high flow velocities and small water depths. A high flow resistance implies low flow velocities and high water depths.
Flow velocity Distance travelled by flowing water per unit time, as a measure of flow strength. See also and
Geomorphic unit Area containing a landform created by erosion or deposition inside or outside the river channel. Also , or . Geomorphic unit is a spatial unit within the multi-scale of hydromorphological processes and forms
Glide Zone of relatively shallow flow as an intermediate feature between shallower riffles and deeper pools, similar to the somewhat steeper
Gravel Rock fragments between 2 and 63 mm in diameter
Habitat Place where a particular species or life stage lives and grows. Essentially, it is the (mostly physical) environment that surrounds a species population or age group
Hydraulic roughness Parameter governing
Hydraulic unit Spatially distinct patch of relatively homogeneous surface-flow and substrate character. Hydraulic unit is a spatial unit within the multi-scale of hydromorphological processes and forms
Impoundment Structure built to maintain a desired water level
Infauna Benthic animals that burrow into the substrate
Invertebrates Animals without a backbone
Island Landform surrounded by areas of the channel bed and emerged at bankfull stage
Krenal Zone of stream source in longitudinal habitat zonation, also . See also and
Landscape unit Portion of a catchment with similar landscape morphological characteristics. Also physiographic unit. Landscape unit is a spatial unit within the multi-scale of hydromorphological processes and forms
Levee See . Levee can also refer to a man-made dike along the Loire river in France or along North-American rivers that belonged to French Louisiana between 1682 and 1803, such as the Mississippi river
Limnetic Related to the environment of lakes and ponds. Adjective for aquatic macroinvertebrates that prefer standing water
Limnophilic Adjective for aquatic species that prefer stagnant water. See also and
Lotic Related to fast-moving water, such as in most streams and rivers
Macroinvertebrates Animals without backbones (“invertebrates”) that are large enough to be seen with the naked eye (“macro”, larger than 0.5 mm)
Macrophyte All aquatic higher plants, mosses and characean algae, but excluding single-celled phytoplankton and diatoms
Macrozoobenthos Aquatic macroinvertebrates living at or in the bottom
Meandering river River with a single channel and a larger than 1.5
Measure See and
Mesohabitat Spatially distinct patch of relatively homogeneous patches serving species or life stages as . See
Microhabitat Spatially distinct patch of uniform substrate, plant cover or physical structure which is relevant for species, e.g. as spawning or feeding substrate
Mitigation measure Activity to reduce the impact of a pressure
Mollusks Unsegmented invertebrate animals (without a backbone) that possess an external or vestigial calcium carbonate shell
Morphological unit See
Mud Loose slushy fine sediment consisting of clay, silt, fine sand, and organic material. Often water-formed and deposited on the bottom of lakes, rivers and estuaries
Natural levee Elevated feature along river channel, composed of sediments deposited by overbank flows leaving the main channel
Oxbow lake Lake formed when a river meander is cut off from the main channel
Pebble Gravel particle
Pelagic Living and feeding in the water column. Opposed to
Physiographic unit See
Phytoplankton Microscopic plants that float or drift almost passively in water
Point bar Bar along the inner bank of a river bend
Pool Relatively deep, still section in a river or stream. Pools alternate with or in gravel-bed rivers and with or in navigable rivers
Potamal Zone of lowland rivers in longitudinal habitat zonation. See also or and
Pothole Deep circular hole scoured in bedrock as a result of abrasion by transported particles trapped in the hole
Pressure In hydromorphology: Force per unit area exerted on a surface by the weight of the water above that surface. In the Water Framework Directive: Direct environmental effect of a driver such as agriculture, industry, hydropower generation or navigation
Rapids Stream bed with boulders organized in irregular transverse lines (ribs), in steep confined channels
Reach Section of river along which boundary conditions are sufficiently uniform for the river to maintain a near-constant internal set of process-form interactions. Reach is a spatial unit within the multi-scale of hydromorphological processes and forms
Region Relatively large area underleying similar broad influences of climate, relief, tectonic processes, etc. Also or . Region is a spatial unit within the multi-scale of hydromorphological processes and forms. It typically contains characteristic assemblages of natural communities and species.
Restoration measure Activity to improve the status of degraded waters, be it by improving water quality or by changing hydromorphological conditions
Rheophilic Adjective for aquatic species that prefer flowing waters. See also and
Rhithral Zone of streams in longitudinal habitat zonation, identical to the zone of trout and grayling. See also or and
Ridge Old incorporated in the floodplain as the channel migrated away
Riffle Zone of relatively shallow and rapid flow in gravel-bed rivers
Riparian Related to zone adjacent to a stream or river with a high density, diversity, and productivity of plant and animal species compared to nearby uplands
Ripple Small bedform of a few centimetres high, with a long crest perpendicular to the flow
River element Part of river environment including individuals and patches of sediment, plants, wood, etc. Also . River element is a spatial unit within the multi-scale of hydromorphological processes and forms.
River sector See
River segment Section of river subject to similar valley-scale influences and energy conditions. Also river sector. River segment is a spatial unit within the multi-scale of hydromorphological processes and forms
Run Zone of relatively shallow flow as an intermediate feature between shallower riffles and deeper pools, similar to the somewhat flatter
Sand Mineral soil particle between 0.063 mm and 2.0 mm in diameter
Scour Local removal of sediment from the stream bed by flowing water
Scroll bar Elongated raised feature on top of a
Sediment Solid matter eroded, transported or deposited in rivers
Sediment yield Amount of sediment eroded per unit land area in a river catchment
Silt Mineral soil particle between 0.002 mm and 0.063 mm in diameter
Sinuosity Ratio between the distance measured along the channel and the distance measured in the direction of the overall planimetric course or meander belt axis
Specific stream power per unit channel width, as a measure of flow strength
Step Steep accumulation of boulders and cobbles across a channel, generally with a pool downstream that is scoured by flow plunging over the step
Stream power Rate of energy dissipation per unit downstream length, as a measure of flow strength. See also and
Stressor Pressure in the sense of a direct environmental effect of a driver
Subreach See
Suspended load Sediment transported in the water column, kept from settling by upward turbulent motions of the water. It can consist of both and
Swale Depression between adjacent that are old
Terrace Abandoned inactive floodplain perched above contemporary channel and floodplain
Thalweg Line connecting the deepest points of consecutive cross-sections
Thread Channel in river typologies. A single-thread river has only one channel in each cross-section. A multiple-thread has more than one channel in each cross-section
Wandering river River with a single channel that locally splits into two channels, as a transitional form between meandering rivers and braided rivers
Washload Sediments much finer than those in the river bed, transported without dependence on flow strength
Water body Distinct and significant volume of water
Water depth Height of water column. Elevation difference between water level and bed level
Water level Elevation of water surface above a horizontal datum
Watershed Area of land drained by a river and its tributaries. Also or . is a spatial unit within the multi-scale of hydromorphological processes and forms