Authors: Bugosh, N; Eckels, R

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Bugosh, N & Eckels, R 2022, 'Inspecting the functionality of geomorphic reclamation designs', in AB Fourie, M Tibbett & G Boggs (eds), Mine Closure 2022: 15th International Conference on Mine Closure, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 113-126,

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Efforts at rehabilitating disturbed lands have accelerated since the late 1970s. Geomorphic-based rehabilitation designs have demonstrated, over the last two decades, the ability to provide sediment yield comparable to surrounding undisturbed land, establish ecological niches favourable for diversity of flora and fauna, and meet designated post-rehabilitation land uses, at costs similar to or lower than traditional design methods at sites around the world. Constructed and monitored geomorphic designs have demonstrated these benefits at locales ranging from the most-erosive, semi-arid conditions to temperate and humid forested regions, to sub-arctic conditions. Computer-modelled erosion predictions, and quantitative sediment yield field research have verified the success of geomorphic designs, but have also indicated that rehabilitation designs that do not properly integrate geomorphic elements provide no additional benefit compared to traditional methods. Fully functioning geomorphic design rehabilitation projects have correctly integrated the fluvial geomorphic elements that developed over time to make stable natural landforms in the project areas into the designs. This integration cannot be assumed because a design approximates natural landform appearance. A geomorphic design must be thoroughly inspected to determine if its geomorphic elements have been correctly integrated before proceeding to construction, both to assure full fluvial geomorphic functions that provide the desired environmental benefits, and to eliminate expenses for failure repairs resulting from incorrect designs. Rehabilitation designs can be inspected in the office to verify that the necessary elements are both present and have been correctly integrated. Complex slope profiles, channel profiles, overland flow routing to channels, slope steepness, stream tractive force values, and more can be inspected in the design by using manual calculations or computer programmes. The SIBERIA erosion modelling programme can indicate where erosion will occur on a design and also estimate the erosion sediment yield for specified time periods. The designer or reviewer that understands how stable geomorphic landforms function, what landform elements enable those functions, and how these elements must be integrated, can inspect and verify design functionality to promote successful geomorphic land rehabilitation.

Keywords: geomorphic, rehabilitation, fluvial geomorphic, sediment yield, SIBERIA

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