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The AUSRIVAS Physical and Chemical Assessment Module project has produced the following products:
- AUSRIVAS physical assessment protocol (included in this section of au.riversinfo.org).
- Software to report existing AUSRIVAS habitat data (see the Ausrivas home page below).
- Review of physical river assessment methods (included in this section of au.riversinfo.org).
- Habitat assessment workshop (held 2-3 May 2000, report on workshop is Appendix 1 of the final report document - included in this section of au.riversinfo.org).
- Evaluation of aspects of existing river assessment methods to include in the final protocol (Appendix 2 of the final report document - included in this section of au.riversinfo.org).
Further information on the purpose, development and content of each product is provided in the final report.
Word and PDF formatted copies of these documents may also be made available.
AUSRIVAS Physical Assessment Protocol
- The AUSRIVAS physical assessment protocol is a method for assessing the physical condition of streams and rivers. The protocol is a 'stand alone' method of physical and geomorphological assessment, however, it also has the capability to complement the biological assessments of stream condition that are made using AUSRIVAS.
- This document is essentially a 'field manual' that presents the background information to the method and instructions for the selection of reference sites and collection of physical data. Full implementation of the protocol involves collection of reference site information from both the field and the office, and subsequent development of predictive models.
- This document provides detailed instructions on the measurement of each AUSRIVAS variable in the form of an individual instruction sheet for each variable.
Final Report: AUSRIVAS Physical and Chemical Assessment Module
- The final report sets out the philosophies underlying the approach to stream assessment developed in the protocol (above). The variables included in the protocol are generally derived from existing stream assessment methods; they were chosen to represent a range of physical factors, including planform channel features, catchment character, landuse, hydrology, physical morphology and bedform, substrate, bank character, riparian vegetation, instream habitat and floodplain character.
- Although water quality is included in the protocol, this aspect of the project was reduced because of concerns about the value of instantaneous chemical measurements and it was decided to concentrate on aspects of water quality that are directly related to geomorphology. To reflect the reduced focus on water chemistry, the name of the protocol was changed from "physical and chemical assessment" to "physical assessment".
- Steps for implementation of the physical assessment protocol include:
- Selection of reference sites in various functional process zones.
- Collection of physical information from reference sites, and collection of office-based data.
- Construction of predictive models.
- It is recommended that these steps are trialed in one State or region before being implemented on a National basis.
Review Of Physical River Assessment Methods: A Biological Perspective
- This document reviews existing stream assessment methods and as such, it draws heavily on published material.
- The development of stream assessment protocols requires simultaneous consideration of stream condition from a biological and a physical perspective.
- While there would seem to be obvious interdependencies between the physical and biological components of streams, merging the two components is a complex task because of the different paradigms that exist within the disciplines of stream ecology and fluvial geomorphology.
More Information on Ausrivas
AUSRIVAS (Australian River Assessment System) is a prediction system used to assess the biological health of Australian rivers. AUSRIVAS was developed under the National River Health Program (NRHP) by the Federal Government in 1994, in response to growing concern in Australia for maintaining ecological values. The NRHP involves the major environmental agency in each state and territory and is centrally administered by Environment Australia (EA) and the Land and Water Resources Research and Development Corporation (LWRRDC). The AUSRIVAS predictive software was developed at the Co-operative Research Centre for Freshwater Ecology (CRCFE).
AUSRIVAS web site