Channel erosion

Definition

Channel erosion is the erosion of stream banks and stream beds, which occurs when the power of the in-stream flow increases beyond the resistance of the stream bank and bed materials. Rivers, creeks and streams without riparian vegetation are highly vulnerable to channel erosion, particularly in alluvial* substrates.

*Alluvium is loose, unconsolidated soils, made up of a variety of materials, including fine particles of silt and clay and larger particles of sand and gravel. 

Action

Approaches for managing areas vulnerable to channel erosion include:

  • Conserve and rehabilitate riparian (streambank) vegetation.
  • Slow water in the rural landscape, by increasing ground cover and conserving natural vegetation. Vegetation protects against scouring and minimises erosion risk by slowing flow and promoting infiltration.

Focus Areas

A series of maps have been developed identifying the focus for action to help reduce sediment pollution. For access to this information, please contact us.