Integrated Catchment Management

River bank styles

 Research Status: Ongoing
High bank in Moutere Gravels

High bank in Moutere Gravels


The stability of a river or stream bank is a complex interaction of processes happening within the channel and those on and near the bank. Vegetation is often used to control or stabilise river banks.

From our field observations of rivers and streams within the Motueka River and its tributaries, and from looking at the role of vegetation and how it controls (or not) river bank erosion we posited that it might be possible to develop a simple field-based assessment of a river bank’s stability based on its morphology or form. Further we suggested that it might be possible from such a simple assessment of bank form, the likelihood that vegetation would stabilise that bank. Our current work is aiming to determine if it is possible to devise a simple system - stream bank styles - that could be used to determine the current bank stability and stabilisation potential by vegetation.

Research Approach

Research Results

At December 2007: a preliminary report is underway and further field assessment is due to be done in early 2008 to clarify the approach.

River bank River bank showing alluvium-bedrock boundary

River bank

River bank showing alluvium-bedrock boundary

Recent Publications

Year Title File Size
2012 A Summary of Outcomes and selected formal publications from the Integrated Catchment Management (ICM)research programme:2000 – 2011
pdf       1.08MB
2010 The Sherry River Story – Improving Water Quality through Whole Catchment Planning. pdf       3.71MB
2008 River bank styles and effects of vegetation on bank stability – a pilot assessment doc       9.50MB
2006 Stream bank erosion: a review of processes of bank failure, measurement and assessment techniques, and modelling approaches pdf       2.62MB
2006 Above and below ground characteristics of native riparian plant colonisers – Karamu, Ribbonwood, Kowhai, Lemonwood, Kohuhu, Lacebark, Mapou, Fivefinger, Cabbage tree, Rewarewa, Tutu.  
More publications on this topic »
All ICM Publications »

Recent Presentations

Year Title File Size
2006 Soil & water conservation in New Zealand. pdf       4726KB
2006 Use of Plants for Ground Bioengineering and Erosion & Sediment Control in New Zealand. pdf       142KB
2005 Willows or natives. Is that the question? pdf       3268KB
2005 Can our native species perform river bank stabilising functions as well as willows? Case of the cabbage tree. pdf       1243KB
More presentations on this topic »
All ICM presentations »

BMPs, BEPs and Guidelines

Title Description
Soil Conservation Technical Handbook The Soil Conservation Technical Handbook is a comprehensive collection of know how about soil conser...More »  
Best practice guidelines for vegetation management and in stream works These best practice guidelines cover activities undertaken by the River and Catchment Services group...More »  
All BMPs, BEPs & Guidelines »

Primary Contacts:

Image - Michael Marden Michael Marden  EmailSend email to Mardenm
Phone: 06 8631345
Fax: 06 8631346
More details»
Landcare Research
Geology/Earth Sciences/Geomorphology/Erosion processes
Image - Chris Phillips Chris Phillips  EmailSend email to phillipsc
Phone: +64 3 321 9775
More details»
Landcare Research
Erosion processes, slope stability, effects of forestry, catchment management, knowledge management
go to top
Page last updated Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Related areas

Riparian classification Riparian vegetation assessment Sediment generation, delivery and impacts