The effect of flow induced erosion on riverbank stability along the Red River in Winnipeg
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A research program was undertaken to quantify the effect of flow induced erosion on the stability of natural river banks along the Red River in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The study correlated the percent decrease in factor of safety to intensity of river flow and duration. Two methods to quantify flow induced erosion were assessed, the first method based on observed erosion and the second on theoretically calculated erosion. The first method involved aligning annual historical river bank cross-sections and measuring the distance between cross-sections to represent the erosion induced from the flow year between successive cross-sections. Due to the fact there are no sites along the Red River regularly surveyed, the analysis did not provide for a correlation between erosion from a specific flow event to percent decrease in factor of safety. The second part involved the use of theoretical equations to quantify erosion given the river elevation of a specific flow year. The study showed a 1% to 8% decrease in factor of safety from low to high intensity flows and as high as 14.5% for high intensity flows of long duration. Additionally, the evolutionary stability of the riverbank was generated showing the percent decrease each year in factor of safety due to erosion and the years during which failure occurs. The results correlated well to the previous analysis showing a 1% to 5% decrease for low to high intensity flows respectively and as high as 10% for high intensities of long duration.