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Characteristics of Water Courses and Types of Invention

Characteristics of Water Courses and Types of Invention

The characteristics of water courses vary significantly with the climate, the type of soil and the particular location along the course of the river.

In defining a scheme of the more common types of hydraulic improvements the most significant factors are the variety of situations encountered along the length of the water course.

Mountain Stream Region/Gathering Basin


  • Steep gradients (5-10%)
  • Severe erosion
  • Abundant coarse bed load

In this area Maccaferri, using transverse structures, can propose the following improvements: decrease the water gradient, control erosion, fix the level of the bed and reduce the solid transport.

Midslope Region

Stream flows out of the mountains and into the valley, there occurs a sharp reduction in stream gradient with resulting deposition of the larger material (deposition cone). In this region the river beds are generally unstable, not deeply cut-in and characterized by wide sections.

Conditions (Low flow channel):

  • Moderate gradients (1-5%)
  • Poorly defined islets
  • Small shifting rapids.

In this area Maccaferri can propose the following improvements: longitudinal works aimed at reducing the channel movement which can be harmful as it can result in dangerous patterns of main flow during floods.

Valley Region

In this region the gradient reduction necessary for flow equilibrium is established by the lengthening of the water course. The slightly incised water course develops, as it goes along, a sinuous shape which can assume various patterns.


  • Water containment
  • Course correction
  • Bank protection

In this area Maccaferri can propose the following improvements: Longitudinal structures or groynes.


  • the types of river training works have to be chosen according to the specific characteristics of water courses
  • flexible structures with gabions and Reno mattresses are unequalled solutions compared to other kind of structures
  • DT structures have the advantage of low carbon footprint and the possibility of regeneration of natural environment on the river bank

For more information about Maccaferri technical solutions, please contact us.

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