Monitoring River Health Initiative Technical Report Number 23
Principal Investigators: M. Thoms and R. Norris, Research Officers: M. Parsons and G. Ransom
Cooperative Research Centre for Freshwater Ecology
Environment Australia, 2002
ISBN 0 642 54889 7 ISSN 1447-1280
About the report
The document titled "AusRivAS Physical Assessment Protocol" details a standardised rapid method for the collection of geomorphological, physical habitat, riparian and basic water quality data. The protocol incorporates aspects of several existing physical assessment methods into a method that can be implemented to construct AusRivAS-style predictive models.
The AusRivAS Physical Assessment Protocol was reviewed by Wayne Erskine (State Forests of NSW), Peter Davies (Freshwater Systems, Tasmania) and Leon Metzeling (VIC EPA) in January 2001. Several aspects of the protocol were modified as a result of review comments, including division of streams into functional process zones, sampling site dimensions, and collection methods and category descriptions for several variables. Additionally, the protocol was discussed at a meeting held on 7 February 2001 (Bruce Gray, Lisa Evans, Allan Thomas (EA), Melissa Parsons, Martin Thoms). Several other aspects of the protocol were modified as the result of review comments from Bruce and Lisa, and included the addition of a note about non-applicability of the protocol in estuarine environments, justification of the scales chosen for use and inclusion of notes about sampling time and training needs.
The protocol was tested in a range of large and small streams on 30-31 January 2001. Several modifications were made to the protocol and field data sheets as a result of field-testing. These modifications included reduction in the sampling site dimensions from 10x bankfull width to 500m, changes to the measurement of cross-sectional profiles and rearrangement of the field data sheets to match the order of work at a sampling site.