unreasonable expectations

This is a really nice blog from Brett Eaton on how we conceptualise river behaviour in research. It’s more technical than posts we normally cover, but should be a lot of interest to river managers.

Experimental Rivers Network

IMG_1010.JPGOne of the main problems with how we as a community have approached the study of river dynamics is that we have created unreasonable expectations for those that are charged with managing rivers. For example, we describe thresholds for channel scour and migration, but fail to mention that the thresholds are fuzzy, and that rivers are unpredictable, chaotic systems. When we make a a prediction that channel change should occur for a flood of magnitude X, and then nothing much happens during such an event, we look foolish and the managers  lose confidence in the underlying science.

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