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04. Morphological alterations

General description

Any transverse barrier to the flow in a river impounds water upstream. When this barrier is small (e.g. less than 10 m high) it may be called a weir, dike or small dam. Barriers that are taller than 15 m are all termed dams. All of these barriers are used for retaining water for many purposes and the river is transformed into an impoundment upstream. Natural flow velocity is reduced due to the presence of the impoundment, resulting in the deposition of transported sediments. The effectiveness of a reservoir as a sediment trap is mainly dependent upon its storage capacity and the length of time that it stores water (Brune, 1953[1]), but even the smallest reservoirs are likely to trap most sand sized and finer particles, and large reservoirs are likely to trap close to 100% of transported mineral sediment particles.

Effect/Impact on (including literature citations)

  • HYMO (general and specified per HYMO element)
  • physico - chemical parameters
  • Biota (general and specified per Biological quality elements)

Case studies where this pressure is present

Possible restoration, rehabilitation and mitigation measures

Useful references

Brune, G.M., 1953. Trap efficiency of Reservoirs. Transactions American Geophysical Union 34: 407–419.

Other relevant information

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