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Institut für Wasser- und Umweltsystemmodellierung - IWS



"Hydraulic and Morphologic Investigations on Restoration Efforts of River Danube"

Similar to most rivers in Europe the Upper Danube in southern Germany was regulated by the end of the 19th century leading to the present consequence of degradation and a decreasing groundwater level. To avoid further degradation revitalization measures are to be established with the goal of achieving morpho-dynamic equilibrium. Ideally river’s dynamic forces can be harnessed in order to get improved diversity of flow and substrate composition. An additional objective is the regular inundation of floodplains timed for natural succession and ecological flood protection. The Institute of Hydraulic Engineering at the Universitaet Stuttgart has put forth a revitalization scenario consisting of a newly constructed diversion stretch adapted to both the historical meandering shape and the conditions of the original river reach. The results of hydrodynamic simulations indicate an earlier flooding of oxbows and floodplains compared to the status quo resulting in a substantial increase in retention volume. The intended discharge dynamics have been chosen to initiate floodplain vegetation growth, and encourage the formation of native habitats. The morphologic simulations show that regular alterations of the riverbed will continue to occur but in the long run no severe degradation or sedimentation is expected.