Effect of bank protection measures, Stehekin River, Chelan County, Washington

Water-Resources Investigations Report 85-4316




An investigation of the lower Stehekin River was conducted to study the effects on flood elevations and velocities from four bank protection and flood prevention measures that are being contemplated as a means of reducing erosional losses of river bank property. These measures are: bank armoring, armored revetment levees, spur dikes, and redevelopment of old cutoff channels. The banks at seven study sites could be armored without adverse effect on the flood velocities and elevations. The largest increases due to armoring--up to 1.6 ft/sec in velocity and 1 ft in elevation--occurred in the vicinity of sites 5, 6, and 7 where the gradient of the river channel is about 50 ft/mi and the velocities are high to begin with (about 6 to 13 ft/sec). The use of a levee in conjunction with armoring on the northeast bank from sites 5 to 7 would increase the velocities as much as 2.8 ft/sec and increase the elevation as much as 1 ft, but it would also provide some flood protection to the east bank, which is frequently inundated. Spur dikes were considered a practical alternative only at site 3, where reduced bank erosion may occur without aggravating flood inundation or erosion elsewhere. The rerouting of flood flow through an old cutoff channel near site 1 increased the velocity by 3.2 ft/sec and the elevation by 1 ft for the 100-year flood; however, it would move floodwater away from residential property where bank erosion is a problem. The few other old channels that shortcut river bends where much erosion occurs are apparently already part of the channel during floods. (Author 's abstract)

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Effect of bank protection measures, Stehekin River, Chelan County, Washington
Series title:
Water-Resources Investigations Report
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Geological Survey,
iv, 22 p. :ill., maps ;28 cm.