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Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 2717-2737, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-22-2717-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
07 May 2018
Long-term temporal trajectories to enhance restoration efficiency and sustainability on large rivers: an interdisciplinary study
David Eschbach1,a, Laurent Schmitt1, Gwenaël Imfeld2, Jan-Hendrik May3,b, Sylvain Payraudeau2, Frank Preusser3, Mareike Trauerstein4, and Grzegorz Skupinski1 1Laboratoire Image, Ville, Environnement (LIVE UMR 7362), Université de Strasbourg, CNRS, ENGEES, ZAEU LTER, Strasbourg, France
2Laboratoire d'Hydrologie et de Géochimie de Strasbourg (LHyGeS UMR 7517), Université de Strasbourg, CNRS, ENGEES, Strasbourg, France
3Institute of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany
4Institute of Geography, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland
acurrent address: Sorbonne Université, CNRS, EPHE, UMR 7619 Metis, 75005 Paris, France
bcurrent address: School of Geography, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia
Abstract. While the history of a fluvial hydrosystem can provide essential knowledge on present functioning, historical context remains rarely considered in river restoration. Here we show the relevance of an interdisciplinary study for improving restoration within the framework of a European LIFE+ project on the French side of the Upper Rhine (Rohrschollen Island). Investigating the planimetric evolution combined with historical high-flow data enabled us to reconstruct pre-disturbance hydromorphological functioning and major changes that occurred on the reach. A deposition frequency assessment combining vertical evolution of the Rhine thalweg, chronology of deposits in the floodplain, and a hydrological model revealed that the period of incision in the main channel corresponded to high rates of narrowing and lateral channel filling. Analysis of filling processes using Passega diagrams and IRSL dating highlights that periods of engineering works were closely related to fine sediment deposition, which also presents concomitant heavy metal accumulation. In fact, current fluvial forms, processes and sediment chemistry around Rohrschollen Island directly reflect the disturbances that occurred during past correction works, and up to today. Our results underscore the advantage of combining functional restoration with detailed knowledge of the past trajectory to (i) understand the functioning of the hydrosystem prior to anthropogenic disturbances, (ii) characterize the human-driven morphodynamic adjustments during the last 2 centuries, (iii) characterize physico-chemical sediment properties to trace anthropogenic activities and evaluate the potential impact of the restoration on pollutant remobilization, (iv) deduce the post-restoration evolution tendency and (v) evaluate the efficiency and sustainability of the restoration effects. We anticipate our approach will expand the toolbox of decision-makers and help orientate functional restoration actions in the future.
Citation: Eschbach, D., Schmitt, L., Imfeld, G., May, J.-H., Payraudeau, S., Preusser, F., Trauerstein, M., and Skupinski, G.: Long-term temporal trajectories to enhance restoration efficiency and sustainability on large rivers: an interdisciplinary study, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 2717-2737, https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-22-2717-2018, 2018.
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In this study we show the relevance of an interdisciplinary study for improving restoration within the framework of a European LIFE+ project on the French side of the Upper Rhine (Rohrschollen Island). Our results underscore the advantage of combining functional restoration with detailed knowledge of past trajectories in complex hydrosystems. We anticipate our approach will expand the toolbox of decision-makers and help orientate functional restoration actions in the future.
In this study we show the relevance of an interdisciplinary study for improving restoration...
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