The weighted usable area (WUA) is one of the popular metrics to quantify the stream physical habitat and the effects of instream structures. However, most habitat studies only considered existing or proposed channel geometries in their WUA computations and not how the channel will evolve over time. This study reports a numerical investigation for the effects of spur dikes on WUA along the Juanchiao levee, Touchien River, Taiwan. Seven virtual dikes were placed along the outer bend in the study reach and the Rhinogobius candidianus was selected for target species. The horizontal two-dimensional (2D) flow fields at various flows and the corresponding WUAs for R. candidianus were computed under four channel bathymetry configurations, including: (1)existing; (2)immediately after dikes are implemented; (3)after 10-year channel migration without dikes; and (4)10years after dikes are implemented. The WUA obtained from the first two bathymetry configurations aimed to investigate the short-term spur dikes effect, whereas the last two examined the long-term effect. The channel geometry after 10years channel migration under the conditions of both with and without spur dikes were simulated through a 2D mobile bed model. The analyses of short-term effect showed the WUA of R. candidianus, shortly after the virtual dikes were placed, increases due to increased water depth near the dikes, especially in low-flow conditions. As for long-term effects, however, the WUA in the case with spur dikes are lower than the case without spur dikes, especially in relatively high-flow conditions. The adverse effects of spur dikes on WUA appeared in the long-term investigation and resulted from the ever-increasing water depth and flow velocity around the tip of spur dikes and the main channel. This study showed that the habitat quality and availability might be overestimated if the channel bed changes over time. When using the WUA approach to evaluate the effects of instream structure on physical habitat prior to actually placing them in the river, quantitative predictions of the long-term variation of channel geometry and the associated physical habitat conditions are important. (C) 2013 American Society of Civil Engineers.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Hydraulic Engineering|
|State||Published - Dec 2013|
- HABITAT; SUITABILITY; TAIWAN; STREAM; RIVER; MODEL