There is rising awareness of the need to include the effects of vegetation in studies dealing with the behavior of rivers. To study this further, researcher Andrés Vargas, who defends his PhD-thesis on Wednesday November 16th, created a ‘river’ that flows through the main channel of the waterlab at TU Delft and that is full of little, green plastic plants. Ten thousand of them…

Vargas studies how rivers behave. What determines their shape? If you know that, you can arrive at better decisions for the cities and land located along the river. For example, where is the best place to build a bridge? And what effect does that have on the river and the surrounding land?

Vargas started his experiment at the lab with a straight, narrow, elongated channel in the large flume. He created scenarios with and without vegetation. Vargas opted for small plastic plants to study the role of vegetation and put 10,000 plastic plants in the main channel. The outcomes of his research emphasize the relevance of considering the effects of vegetation on the river management and on the designing, planning and maintaining of restoration projects. 

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More information
PhD thesis defence A. Vargas-Luna 'Role of vegetation on river bank accretion' 
16 November 2016, 09.30, Aula TU Delft
Promotors: Prof W.S.J. Uijttewaal (CiTG) and Dr A. Crosato (UNESCO-IHE).

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Photo by Frank Auperlé