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Access-Geodatabase Modelling to Aid Decision Making in River Restoration: Case Study River Beult, Kent, UK

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Masaryk University Brno


Fluvial geomorphology is an essential tool for decision makers and river managers and provides valuable information regarding channel forms and processes within a river catchment. Such information can be used to develop environmentally sensitive designs and management plans in order to preserve riverine environments and restore degraded ones. This requires investigations into a wide range of datasets which can be collected as field and desk-based. GIS has been demonstrated repeatedly as managing and analysing this wide range of spatial and tabular data. This was the case of this research project at River Beult, Kent, UK. The river is 98 km long with different conditions along the river. Field work methodology was established to gather the information about the geomorphological reaches, flow types, bed and bank composition and structure, material description, bank structure and cohesion and flood and catchment sediment sources. The data was entered into a pre-designed performa of access database to ensure the automation, consistency and accuracy of the data entry. The potentiality of the new generation of ArcGIS in using the Access database philosophy in the geodatabase aided the development of an integrated access-geodatabase model. The UML schema was built up and then converted into geodatabase model based on the relationships between the geomorphological features. The model was designed for all the feature classes, tabular data and the field photographs. The pre-designed performa of access database system allowed not only for the automated data collection and entry from the field but also for the straightaway conversion into the geodatabase feature classes. The catchment area of river Beult is 277 km2 in which 67% is in agricultural usage (ADAS 1998). The spatial analysis of the River Beult allowed showing the relationship between the erosion and the severity. For example, 70% of the river is undergoing of fluvial erosion which is not sever. However, 21% was undergoing of Geo-technical erosion with little sediment to be provide to the system. The overlaying of the different types of information (desk and field based) allowed identifying the pattern of the changes in River Beult and determining the appropriate restoration option. This system has proved very effective in the undertaking of a geomorphological assessment of River Beult, Kent, UK, however, generalisation of the technique would allow application into different environments (i.e. archaeology, ecology).


El-Magd, Islam Abou; German, Sally (2005): Access-Geodatabase Modelling to Aid Decision Making in River Restoration: Case Study River Beult, Kent, UK. Informatics for Environmental Protection - Networking Environmental Information. Brno: Masaryk University Brno. Knowledge management and decision support systems. Brno. 2005