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Research Project: Technologies for Managing Water and Sediment Movement in Agricultural Watersheds

Location: Watershed Physical Processes Research

Title: Evaluating a process-based model for use in streambank stabilization: insights on the Bank Stability and Toe Erosion Model (BSTEM)

Author
item KLAVON, KATE - Oklahoma State University
item GUERTAULT, LUCIE - Oklahoma State University
item FOX, GAREY - Oklahoma State University
item ENLOW, HOLLY - Oklahoma State University
item MILLER, RON - Oklahoma State University
item KHANAL, ANISH - Oklahoma State University
item Langendoen, Eddy

Submitted to: Earth Surface Processes and Landforms
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2016
Publication Date: 1/11/2017
Publication URL: http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/5763089
Citation: Klavon, K.R., Guertault, L.S., Fox, G.A., Enlow, H., Miller, R., Khanal, A., Langendoen, E.J. 2017. Evaluating a process-based model for use in streambank stabilization: insights on the Bank Stability and Toe Erosion Model (BSTEM). Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 42(1):191–213. doi:10.1002/esp.4073.

Interpretive Summary: Eroding streambanks may contribute up to 90% of the suspended sediment load in streams. However, modeling streambank retreat is very challenging because it is difficult to adequately characterize bank soil heterogeneity, soil water content, bank soil resistance to erosion and the forces exerted by the flowing stream water. Scientists at the USDA, ARS, National Sedimentation Laboratory in collaboration with researchers from Oklahoma State University reviewed the USDA, ARS Bank Stability and Toe Erosion Model (BSTEM), which is one of the most comprehensive streambank models available. The objectives of the review were to (i) present studies that have utilized BSTEM and report their findings, (ii) address the limitations of the model so that it can be applied appropriately in its current form, and (iii) suggest directions of research that will help make the model a more useful tool in future applications. The review demonstrated that even one of the most advanced models still needs to be further tested and evaluated outside of the central United States and needs further development so that process-based modeling can be more applicable for water resources practitioners.

Technical Abstract: Streambank retreat is a complex cyclical process involving subaerial processes, fluvial erosion, seepage erosion, and geotechnical failures and is driven by several soil properties that themselves are temporally and spatially variable. Therefore, it can be extremely challenging to predict and model the erosion and consequent retreat of streambanks. However, modeling streambank retreat has many important applications, including the design and assessment of mitigation strategies for stream revitalization and stabilization. In order to highlight the current complexities of modeling streambank retreat and to suggest future research areas, this paper reviewed one of the most comprehensive streambank models available, the Bank Stability and Toe Erosion Model (BSTEM), which has recently been integrated with several popular hydrodynamic and sediment transport models, including HEC-RAS. The objectives of this paper were to (i) comprehensively review studies that have utilized BSTEM and report their findings, (ii) address the limitations of the model so that it can be applied appropriately in its current form, and (iii) suggest directions of research that will help make the model a more useful tool in future applications. The paper includes an overview of all peer reviewed studies to guide future users of BSTEM. The review demonstrated that even one of the most advanced models still needs to be further tested and evaluated outside of the central United States and needs further development so that process-based modeling can be more applicable for water resources practitioners.