Natural Channel Design : Riffle and Pool Seqencing
Riffles are the life blood of the stream. The riffle area is a natural grade control that accelerates the water column producing a variety of flow velocities (critical and supercritical) which oxygenate the stream and volatilize pollutants. This provides the fast currents and clean substrates that are essential for the colonization of bacteria, periphyton, macro-invertebrates and spawning beds for fish. That acceleration of flows also creates the pools or deep water areas that are essential for sustaining fisheries during low flows. This creates a vertical sinuosity that is predictable (the riffle, run, pool sequence) and manages energy within the channel. That energy component is important to the streams ability in efficiently transporting sediment and bed materials downstream.

Constructing riffles and runs in degraded channels restores the variety of flow velocities and micro pools necessary to support aquatic ecosystems.

Riffle and Pool Sequences and Riparian Vegetation are neccessary components for successful Natural Channel Design implementations.

Examples of Riffles Constructed in Oxbow Projects
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© 2014 Oxbow River & Stream Restoration, Inc. Last updated January 2014.