Geomorphology is the scientific study of landforms and the processes that shape them

cbec staff members have extensive geomorphic experience as research scientists and with applying geomorphic theory and understanding in water environment consultancy. A thorough understanding of the physical processes involved in fluvial and tidal environments is essential to designing and constructing our projects and enables us to ensure best-practice solutions, which can be adopted in response to a range of management and restoration problems. Central to cbec’s approach to geomorphic assessment is that of the ‘process’ or ‘nature’ based philosophy.

What is the process or nature-based approach?

Underlying the process or nature-based approach is the concept that understanding the fundamental geomorphic processes across a range of spatial and temporal scales is essential for identifying cause and effect relating to impaired physical and ecological function in water environments. This understanding permits the development of management and restoration strategies that are appropriate to imposed physical conditions where self-sustaining recovery of the river to a more diverse condition is promoted. The river will subsequently do the work of maintaining a natural and dynamic environment with minimal requirement for subsequent intrusive interventions

Experienced geomorphologists for surveys, assessments and design

  • Detailed topographic surveying of geomorphic form
  • Geomorphic surveys/fluvial audit/habitat mapping
  • Expert geomorphic interpretation and assessment
  • Sediment budgets
  • High resolution numerical modelling of geomorphic and sediment transport processes
  • Historical channel analyses
  • Specific stream power assessments
  • Process-based restoration design.

cbec has developed a bespoke fluvial audit methodology, a key tool used in contemporary assessments of site conditions and the processes affecting these. This is a powerful method for providing a detailed understanding of the linkages between physical form/processes and ecological condition through relatively long sections of a river system and provides a basis for the objective prioritisation of management options. Data collected during a fluvial audit, augmented with desk-based sources, allows us to understand catchment-scale patterns in geomorphic process/form and permits for robust predictions of how the river environment will respond to restoration/management measures.

Other technical services