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Webinar: When Rivers and Infrastructure Collide
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Webinar: When Rivers and Infrastructure Collide

Resilient river engineering involves anticipating potential future issues during the design phase to reduce the risk associated with natural forces for both new development and maintenance of existing infrastructure.

 Export to Your Calendar 4/11/2017
When: Tuesday, April 11
Noon CT
Where: Your Phone, Tablet, or Computer
United States
Presenter: Stephanie Coffman, Project Manager, Freese and Nichols Water Resources Design Group
Contact: Annemarie Gasser
512-472-8905


Online registration is available until: 4/12/2017
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Freese and Nichols Inc. (FNI) fluvial geomorphologists conducted a desktop and field analysis along approximately 25 river miles of the Lower Brazos River in Fort Bend County, Texas. The river valley contains Holocene alluvium and Pleistocene terrace deposits. The river is actively eroding and naturally migrates across the landscape over time. The study documented that the river was constantly changing prior to development in the region, the river has continued to change since infrastructure was constructed, and that the river will continue to change in the future, albeit on a different trajectory than during the period prior to development.

To evaluate the fluvial geomorphologic complexity, the study included: a review of available literature related to the geomorphic setting for the Lower Brazos River; an evaluation of river meander migration through desktop analysis; mathematical predictions of meander migration; and an evaluation of erosion and scour using topographic data and field observations, local two-dimensional flow modeling and review of geotechnical data.

The study identified the impact that bridges have on meander migration rates.  Bridges initiate complex hydraulics that can cause local erosion to the riverbed and banks, but also slow natural rates and trajectories of migration. Given enough historical data, it is possible to quantify the influence that bridges have on meander migration rates when placed at different locations.  Additionally, an assessment of river valley geology revealed different types of riverbank slope failures associated with specific geologic formations.

Resilient river engineering involves anticipating potential future issues during the design phase to reduce the risk associated with natural forces for both new development and maintenance of existing infrastructure.  This study has developed an initial understanding of the forces at work along the Lower Brazos River and how they might impact infrastructure in the future.  The study also identified a need for development of adaptive management programs to accompany projects.

 

About the Presenter:

Stephanie Coffman

Project Manager

Freese and Nichols Water Resources Design Group

Stephanie Coffman is a Project Manager in FNI’s Water Resources Design Group and is a firm Associate. She is a Licensed Professional Geologist that specializes in fluvial geomorphology with an emphasis on streambank erosion and channel processes. Stephanie received her B.S. in Geology from the University of South Alabama and M.S. in Geology from Baylor University. She is currently the acting Chair for the Texas Chapter of the Association of Environmental & Engineering Geologist. Stephanie has over 12 years of experience. She has conducted walking assessments on over 400 miles of streams. Ms. Coffman takes a resiliency approach to projects by anticipating change to identify and mitigate risks short and long term. Her project background includes evaluating stream stability and erosion, especially in urbanized areas and developing viable solutions where roads, pipelines, and structures that are in danger of failure caused by flooding/natural processes. She also assists with designing stream restoration for mitigation projects.

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