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Press Release 09-179
Living, Meandering River Constructed

Vegetation and sand found to be essential in stream life

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A schematic showing how a meandering river works.

By reverse-engineering a meandering stream, researchers have shown two ingredients to be very important: vegetation to reinforce banks and prevent erosion, and sand to build point bars and block off cut-off channels and chutes. This knowledge will help stream restoration efforts in the future.

Credit: Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation


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Photo of Christian Braudrick in front of model meandering river.

Christian Braudrick and colleagues are the first to build a scaled down meandering stream in the lab that successfully meandered through its flood plain for 130 hours which represents 5 to 7 years of real time in the wild. The substrate seen behind Braudrick is composed of sand to represent real-life gravel; white light-weight plastic for sand, and alfalfa sprouts for deep-rooting vegetation.

Credit: Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation


Download the high-resolution JPG version of the image. (252 KB)

Use your mouse to right-click (Mac users may need to Ctrl-click) the link above and choose the option that will save the file or target to your computer.



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