Physical form

This theme of the SWIRC assesses the stability of the river channel and how natural it is.

It incorporates measures of bank stability/erosion, the natural state of the river form and how connected it is (as influenced by artificial barriers in the river).

We collect information at different spatial scales, including

  • the extent of erosion measured at a field site
  • bank stability measured at a field site
  • the extent of alterations to the channel form measured at a river reach (for example, the proportion of a river that has been straightened and deepened to increase flow for drainage)
  • the connectivity (for fish passage and flushing) and how natural it is, considering the presence of dams, road and rail crossings, and other structures in the water.
More about SWIRC condition indicators
Download SWIRC field sheets