Riverbank Stability Assessment during Hydro-Peak Flow Events: The Lower Osage River Case (Missouri, USA)


The fluctuation of water level downstream from dams due to hydropower flow releases can negatively affect riverbank stability. This research aims to investigate riverbank instability resulting from the outflow variation of hydropower plants, using Bagnell Dam and the lower Osage River (Missouri, USA) as the basis of analysis. The effects of the water releases from the Bagnell Dam were investigated by computing a series of safety factors in relation to outflow events for 78 cross sections along the 130-km stretch of the lower Osage River using the BSTEM algorithm integrated into the HEC-RAS model package. The results showed that the rate of change in the flow magnitude at each cross section impacts the calculated safety factor. The flow release fluctuations will change the value of the safety factor along the river over time, as the safety factor value closely follows the variation in the flow rate. Also, the results show that the cross sections closer to Bagnell Dam are subjected to be more unstable than those farther downstream of Osage River.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

BSTEM; Flow fluctuations; HEC-RAS; riverbank stability

Geographic Coverage


International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1571-5124; 1814-2060

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





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Publication Date

01 Jan 2020