Scientific and mathematical solutions to real world problems


line decor


line decor



OCDAG projects


River stability

River instability causes major problems for society.  Infrastructure may be damaged by river channel erosion and flooding.  Rivers naturally flood, cause erosion, and relocate their channels but unstable rivers may do so at alarming rates.  Understanding what causes rivers to become unstable is important so that these changes can be reversed.  Understanding how humans induce river instability is complicated because natural rivers erode at various rates.  But understanding what causes rivers to be stable is also important so that these features can be managed for.

The research will employ signal-processing techniques to investigate the structure of riverbeds.  There is some confusion in the literature about how these techniques can be applied to river problems.  In particular, we will investigate the applicability of various signal-processing techniques to the discovery of periodic or recurrent features in river systems.  These recurrent features have implications for river channel stability. This research will be conducted in collaboration between Dr. Burge and Dr. Corbett.  Dr. Corbett will provide mathematical expertise and Dr. Burge will provide the data and expertise on river processes.  The majority of the data for the analysis was collected during the summers of 2000 and 2001.  Additional data will be collected on Mission Creek in the summer of 2007. 


Leif Burge