Toronto Metropolitan University
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Environmental Restoration Of Concrete Flood-Control Channels

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posted on 2021-06-08, 09:48 authored by Celia W.M. Fan
Many rivers and streams throughout the world in the past century were severely affected by human activities including water extraction, watershed land use changes, power generation, dam and levee construction. In highly urbanized cities, engineering practices advocate straightening, enlarging, and converting the natural rivers and streams into concrete channels to minimize flooding and erosion problems. These engineering design approaches destroy the natural equilibrium of the fluvial systems and eliminate the aquatic and riparian species in the watercourse. The objective of this research is to develop a general stream restoration design approach for flood control concrete channels in highly urbanized areas. The restoration goals are: 1) to create a natural and self-sustainable river system in order to re-establish the aquatic species on the flood control channel; 2) to provide appropriate in-stream covers, pools and riffles features for fish spawning and rearing; and 3) to maintain the flood control function after stream restoration. There are four phrases involved in the design methodology of flood channels restoration: 1) identification of restoration goals, 2) stream assessment on the existing condition; 3) modification and verification of the low-flow channel design based on stream assessment findings; and 4) confirmation of the original flood control function. Yuen Long Nullah in Hong Kong will be used as a pilot site study to demonstrate the design framework. Meanders and deflectors will be applied to the low-flow channel modification design. A physical model representing an actual 2-metre wide meander channel section of the low-flow channel was constructed and experimented at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s Hydraulics Laboratory. A numerical sediment transport model using the CCHE2D program was used to adjust the modification design and verify the flood control function. The pilot site has been tentatively demonstrated the restoration design approach developed in this research where deflectors are a major factor on pools creation. Moreover, a single deflector located along the inner curvature of the meander section with 1/3 contraction ratio is proved to be the best design using the physical model. The numerical model using the CCHE2D program showed that the 7-block system can be used to model a deflector with porosity of 40%. Numerical results also demonstrated that the bed material will not be totally flushed out after a severe thunder storm.





  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Civil Engineering

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • Dissertation