Glossary

River management is full of acronyms and words with uncertain meanings. This glossary explains some of the most widely used terms within river management. Some of these definitions have been intentionally simplified to reflect the wide and diverse readership of the blog.

Artificially-modified waterbodies (AMWB’s) – Waterbodies created by people, as identified in the river basin management plans

Bed load transport – the component of sediment transport where-by particles are moved along the bed of the river via processes such as saltation and traction

Bed scour – erosion of the river bed, typically at locations where the rivers energy is focused due to in-stream structures, the confluence of two watercourses or the constriction of the river channel

Culvert – a pipe, channel or structure that allows a river to flow beneath buildings, bridges and other bits of infrastructure

Daylighting – opening up buried or culverted watercourses and restoring them to natural conditions – find out more at http://daylighting.org.uk/Daylighting/

Discharge – distinct from flow velocity, discharge is the amount of water moving through a point in the river per unit time – typically given in meters cubed or liters per second

Dredging – the removal of sediment from a watercourse, typically using an excavator or suction pump

Fluvial – relating to rivers and streams

Geomorphology – the study of earth (and extraterrestrial) surface processes and landforms – from the Greek: earth; form; study – find more information at http://www.geomorphology.org.uk/

Good ecological potential – a desirable state of ecological, biological, chemical and geomorphological conditions that reflect minimal disturbance within a watercourse, as defined within the Water Framework Directive

Good ecological status – a desirable state of ecological, biological, chemical and geomorphological conditions that reflect minimal disturbance within a heavily-modified watercourse, as defined within the Water Framework Directive

Heavily-modified waterbodies (HMWB’s) – Waterbodies that perform a specific function for people (e.g. flood defence) and that are therefore significantly altered morphologically, as identified in the river basin management plans

Internal drainage boards (IDB’s) – organisations responsible for land drainage within non-main rivers in England

Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFA’s) – organisations responsible for the prevention of flooding on non-main rivers in England e.g. local councils

Lentic – relating to still-water organisms and habitats

Lotic – relating to moving-water organisms and habitats

Main rivers – large, arterial rivers in England for which the Environment Agency is responsible

Ordinary watercourses – all watercourses in England that are not main rivers – these watercourses are often the responsbility of the local authority or internal drainage board

River Basin Management Plans (RBMP’s) – Six yearly, river-basin scale plans produced by European Union countries to inform the Water Framework Directive

Streampower – the energy available to a river at a particular location, as determined by the channel slope and river discharge at that point

Suspended load transport – the component of sediment transport where-by particles are moved in suspension

Sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDS) – techniques and schemes aimed at reducing the detrimental environmental impact of urban effluent whilst maintaining effective drainage within urban systems

The Water Framework Directive (WFD) – legislation aimed at improving the condition of watercourses within the European Union – find more information at http://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/water-framework/

TraC waterbodies – transitional and coastal waterbodies, as defined within the Water Framework Directive

Weir – in-stream structures that come in a variety of designs; typically used to maintain upstream water levels or dissipate a rivers streampower

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s