Characteristics of Point-Bar Development under the Influence of a Dam: Case Study on the Dráva River at Sigetec, Croatia

Tímea Kiss, Márton Balogh
2015 Journal of Environmental Geography  
Before the extensive engineering works the Dráva River had braided pattern. However in the 19-20th centuries river regulation works became widespread, thus meanders were cut off, side-channels were blocked and hydroelectric power plants were completed. These human impacts significantly changed the hydro-morphology of the river. The aim of the present research is to analyse meander development and the formation of a point-bar from the point of view of indirect human impact. Series of maps and
more » ... ries of maps and ortho-photos representing the period of 1870-2011 were used to quantify the longterm meander development, rate of bank erosion and point-bar aggradation. Besides, at-a-site erosion measurements and grain-size analysis were also carried out. As the result of reservoir constructions during the last 145 years floods almost totally disappeared, as their return period increased to 5-15 years and their duration decreased to 1-2 days. The channel pattern had changed from braided to sinuous and to meandering, thus the rate of bank erosion increased from 3.7 m/y to 32 m/y. On the upstream part of the point-bar the maximum grain size is 49.7-83.4 mm and the mean particle size is 7.6 mm, whilst on the downstream part the maximum grain size was only 39.7-39.9 mm and mean sediment size decreased to 6.1 mm. Due to the coarse sediment supply and the decreasing stream energy the point-bars develop quickly upstream and laterally too.
doi:10.1515/jengeo-2015-0003 fatcat:2jbp2hflnbhu3gjwi6ie5a5n3e