You are here


Planning Restoration - Put the Pieces Together

Combine information on fish habitat quality, in-stream wood recruitment, gravel supply, floodplain size (and historical floodplains), current shade effects on thermal energy, thermal refugia, and ownership.





Quickly identify critical areas:










Combine elements to locate hotspots for restoration, like where would increasing shade benefit the best habitats and the most sensitive channel reaches.

See how NetMap was used in restoration planning in the Elk River watershed, western Oregon




See other examples of searching for priority areas for restoration.


Instream/Watershed Restoration

Historical land use impacts in rivers and streams (increased sedimentation, reduced riparian vegetation, spash dams, and stream cleaning, hydro-electric dams) can damage valuable aquatic habitats. In-stream restoration often involves efforts to rebuild a fluvial system cabable of providing stable and productive habitats; these efforts may include engineering channel morphology, gravel placement, placement of instream structures and riparian revegetation, etc. However, restoration activities are best designed in the context of watershed processes: some locations in a stream network are more suitable than others for restoration.

TerrainWorks (NetMap) tools can be used to help understand the spatial patterns of hillsope and fluvial processes and thus where best to site restoration, including locating areas with natural high habitat potential and areas where natural dynamic processes will pose a risk to in-stream and riparian restoration.


Put Your Restoration Project into a Watershed Context

One of the major challenges in river restoration is to identiy the natural fluvial landscape in catchments with a long history of river control. Intensive land use on valley floors often predates the earliest remote sensing: levees, dikes, dams and other sturtures alter valley floor morphology, river channels and flow regimes.

Morphology reflecting the natural fluvial landscape may include extensive floodplains, multiple channels, wetlands and fluvial-riparian and tributary-confluence dynamics. Understanding where and how these landforms arise in river networks is central to building an effective restoration program.

NetMap can be used to develop a watershed context for restoration. General principles of hydro-geomorphic processes are used with NetMap's computer tools to characterize the fluvial landscape. 









An Example of using NetMap in the Pas River, Spain (paper)

The Pas River basin (650 km2), located in the Cantabria Region in Northern Spain has had a long history of land development dating back to the 17th century. NetMap's system of Digital Landscapes and analysis tools were used to reconstruct the natural fluvial landscape (90% of the natural fluvial landscape in the Pas River watershed is obscured by land use activities).

Using a 5m DEM in the Digital Hydroscape, an analysis of longitudinal patterns of rivergradients, floodplains and terraces, variation in valley morphology, patterns of tributary confluences and sediment supply were used to develop a catchment scale perspective for river restoration.




















Mapping of the natural fluvial landscape, even if obscured by historical and present day land use activities, can provide an important basis to prioritize site specific restoration projects.






















TerrainWorks (NetMap) provides numerous types of information that can be used to support restoration planning including:

  • fluvial processes
  • aquatic habitats
  • erosion prediction (surface, landslide, debris flow, gully)
  • roads
  • vegetation
  • wildfire
  • climate change