Sediment and Habitat Dynamics Project

Sediment and flow dynamics determine the morphology of rivers and their ecological functioning. In Switzerland, the sediment dynamics of many rivers are impaired. Humans have influenced sediment dynamics strongly by dams, lateral embankments and channelisation, with numerous ecological consequences. The re-initiation of flow and sediment dynamics as well as ecological functions is a prerequisite for the successful evaluation of our rivers (river restoration and hydropower mitigation) and an important objective of both the Hydraulic Engineering Act and the revised Water Protection Act. The research project "Sediment and habitat dynamics" investigated the human influence on sediment dynamics in rivers. It also studied measures to re-initiate the dynamics in degraded rivers and the effects on the structure and function of biological assemblages.

The following two main topics were investigated:

Die folgenden zwei Schwerpunktthemen wurden untersucht:

  1. Re-initiation of sediment dynamics
  2. Restoration of floodplains

An overview of this topic is provided by the model landscape of a river network including human impacts on sediment dynamics as well as measures to re-initiate the dynamics.

Project leaders' team
Anna Belser (FOEN, project coordination)
Mario Franca (LCH)
Christoph Scheidegger (WSL)
David Vetsch (VAW)
Christine Weber (Eawag)

Advisory group
FOEN: Rémy Estoppey, Susanne Haertel-Borer, Stephan Lussi, Manuel Nitsche, Diego Tonolla
Cantonal authorities: Josef Hartmann (GR), Norbert Kräuchi (AG), Christian Marti (ZH), Vinzenz Maurer (BE), Sandro Ritler (LU), Thomas Stucki (AG)
Other institutions: Raimund Hipp (KBNL), Roger Pfammatter (SWV), Luca Vetterli (Pro Natura)

Steering board
FOEN: Hugo Aschwanden, Andreas Knutti, Evelyne Marendaz, Stephan Müller, Olivier Overney, Carlo Scapozza, Hans Peter Willi
Research institutions: Robert Boes (VAW), Christoph Hegg (WSL), Anton Schleiss (LCH), Bernhard Wehrli (Eawag)

Letzte Änderung: 20.07.2018

Project phase


Overview article on the content and structure of the project for download

  • Sediment and Habitat Dynamics Project Schleiss, A., Boes, R., Brodersen, J., Doering, M., Franca, M.J., Nadyeina, O., Pfister, M., Robinson, C., Scheidegger, C., Vetsch, D., Weber, C., Weitbrecht, V., Werth, S., 2014, Wasser Energie Luft 106 (2): 117-122 [pdf, 285 KB]