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Geomorphic Assessment

Rivers are in a constant balancing act between the energy they produce and the work that must be done to carry the water, sediment and debris produced in their watersheds.  A change in any one of these factors will cause adjustments of the other variables until the river system comes back into equilibrium (balance).  These changes can be caused by natural events and by human activity.  The impact of which may be seen immediately or for decades after the activity occurred.

Lane's Diagram, depicting as a scale the balance of sediment supply and sediment size with slope and discharge


The goal of managing toward, protecting, and restoring the equilibrium condition of Vermont rivers is to resolve or avoid conflicts between human investments and river dynamics in a manner that is technically sound, and both economically and ecologically sustainable.   


The Vermont Stream Geomorphic Assessment Handbooks have been developed as tools to use in assessing, understanding, and evaluating the condition of the river system.  The information gathered can be used for basin planning; river and riparian corridor protection, management, and restoration projects; aquatic and riparian habitat assessment; and hazard assessments to reduce property loss and damage from riverine erosion during floods.

The Rivers Program provides the technical assistance to conduct geomorphic assessments of streams and their watersheds. Contact your regional ANR River Scientist for data forms, assessment protocols, and geomorphic reference tools used by the State to assess stream condition and responses.


Why do Geomorphic Assessments?
Vermont Geomorphic and Habitat Assessment Protocols
Vermont Bridge and Culvert Assessment ProtocolsStream Geomorphic Assessment Protocol Handbook Cover, drawing of a river corridor, including both above and underwater features
Where to Access and View Data
Assessment Results

Sample Reports

Model RFPs
Educational Materials and Links