Glendon Riverbank Restoration: An Incredible Experience!

Partner in Crime: Akhilesh Kadian

Experiencing Glendon was definitely one of the highlights of my time in this course, and it gave me an excuse to visit the campus for the first time in my life. I’d always heard great things about the campus, but it wasn’t until I saw it in person that I understood all the hype. Anyway, let’s get right to it then! One of reasons for going to Glendon was to assess the riverbank restoration efforts of the past, and see how they’d held up over time. Observing the riverbank in our area, there wasn’t exactly much in the form of “reinforcements,” and the effect of this was very clear. As seen below, there was very clear evidence of riverbank erosion, as well as slumping along the bank:

img_20161115_153738

This picture all demonstrates the slumping quite well:img_20161115_153735

And again here, lots of evidence of erosion, as well as slumping:img_20161115_153320img_20161115_153316img_20161115_153312img_20161115_153742

In this picture, if you look across the stream again, its very clear how the bank is slumping and eroding.

This created a number of questions in my head, especially with regards to why this was occurring. According to the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Water, stream bank erosion is a natural process that occurs over time, and is also part of the reason why rivers do eventually change their course of direction. According to the Department, if erosion and decay becomes bad enough, mass failure (which includes bank collapse and slumping), can occur. Mass failure is often dominant in the lower areas of large streams, something that is very apparent in the next couple of photos.

img_20161115_153828img_20161115_153836img_20161115_153840img_20161115_153854img_20161115_153909img_20161115_153905

This panorama shot best shows the extent to which the bank has eroded, along with all the slumping described above.

img_20161115_154100

In these next few pics, you can see evidence of a type of erosion known as toe erosion, where due to persistent water exposure, the bank begins to deteriorate in such a way that bit of an overhang remains:img_20161115_153932img_20161115_153927img_20161115_153914

Once again, an awesome panorama showing the extent of the erosion on the riverbank:img_20161115_154325

Just a tube, chilling where there once used to be more land, but is now gone due to erosion:img_20161115_153940img_20161115_153942

As you can see here, the slumping and erosion has gotten so bad, that there may be mass failure in the near future:img_20161115_154225img_20161115_154225

A few more panoramas showing the extent of the damage:img_20161115_154404img_20161115_154445

And finally, some evidence of the failure of the riverbank overhang, resulting in the land slumping downwards onto itself.img_20161115_154507img_20161115_154459

Conclusions

In simple, the area of the riverbank we assed showed very clear signs of erosion, slumping, and at times, mass failures. One of the most surprising things about our area was the fact that there was no real evidence of past restoration, such as beams, stones, or any other kinds of reinforcements. Had there been any kind of reinforcement present, some the erosion we observed may have been mitigated, or at least minimized. In the end, however, we observed two main things:

  1. Evidence of slumping, and the possibility of mass failure
  2. Evidence of toe erosion, as well as bank overhand failure

 

Until next time Glendon, this is Awais, signing off!

References

 

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