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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Oxford, Mississippi » National Sedimentation Laboratory » Watershed Physical Processes Research » Research » BSTEM » Overview

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  Principal Investigators:
Dr. Eddy Langendoen
Mick Ursic

Many river management situations require information on the stability of the channel banks. These may include assessing the stability of existing channel banks, predicting the effect that changes in riparian land use will have, or designing new channels. The Bank Stability Model is an Excel-based model that calculates bank Factor of Safety for new or existing banks.


  • Limit equilibrium analysis of planar shear failures with and without tension cracks
  • User-defined and automatically-generated bank geometries: compound and undercut banks allowed
  • Up to five distinct bank material layers
  • Simulates saturated and unsaturated soil strength
  • User-definable positive and negative pore-water pressures or pressures calculated from water table position
  • Optional fiber-bundle root-reinforcement model with data from 22 vegetation species, including willows, grasses and large trees, or the user may enter their own data
  • Hybrid random-walk and random-leap search algorithm for the minimum Factor of Safety
  • Clear-water scour hydraulic erosion model
  • Simulates potential options to protect the bank and/or bank toe against hydraulic erosion
Downloading Instructions:

Download the model by clicking below, or run directly. Note: The model contains macros that must be enabled if you wish to use it to simulate problems. The model can be used in demonstration mode with macros disabled. Some users have experienced problems when executing the macros when running the model from the web page or after downloading the files. This has been attributed to the level of security on the user's computer. Please decrease the security setting to medium or less by going into the Windows control panel, under the start menu, clicking on "Security Center", then "Internet Options". Under the Security tab, make sure the "Internet" option is selected, click the "Custom level" button. At the bottom of this window you will see "Reset custom settings." Use the drop-down menu to lower the security setting. Click "Reset" then "Ok". If this still does not allow you to run the macro, repeat the above procedure and lower the security to the next lower level.

Optional sound file: There is one optional sound file that you may download that will enhance your modeling experience. Download the file "bigpoolsplash.wav" to the same folder that you placed the model.


How to use BSTEM (Powerpoint)
How to use BSTEM (Adobe pdf)

Add "Optional sound file"