Sebastian Schwindt

Sebastian Schwindt
Universität Stuttgart · Institute for Modelling Hydraulic and Environmental Systems

Dr sc.
Screening hydro-morphological ecosystems

About

45
Publications
7,251
Reads
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163
Citations
Introduction
Sebastian currently works at the Department of Hydraulic Engineering and Water Resources Management at the University of Stuttgart, Germany. Sebastian's research focuses on river environments with respect to ecohydraulics, sediment transport, hydraulics and morphodynamics, and restoration ecology. For more details visit https://sebastian-schwindt.org
Additional affiliations
September 2017 - December 2019
University of California, Davis
Position
  • PostDoc Position
June 2013 - June 2017
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
Position
  • PhD Student
Education
June 2013 - August 2017
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne
Field of study
  • Civil Engineering
October 2010 - September 2012
Technische Universität München
Field of study
  • Environmental Engineering
October 2007 - September 2010
Technische Universität München
Field of study
  • Environmental Engineering

Publications

Publications (45)
Article
Water conservancy projects may result in considerable economic and social benefits, though there is widespread concern about how their impact on aquatic ecosystems. However, there is no study about the combined effects of typical hydraulic structures (a dam and numerous spur dikes) on hydraulic habitat conditions. This is why the impacts of the con...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The sediment supply to rivers, lakes, and reservoirs has a great influence on hydro-morphological processes. For instance, long-term predictions of bathymetric change for modeling climate change scenarios require an objective calculation procedure of sediment load as a function of catchment characteristics and hydro-climatic parameters. Thu...
Article
Restoration of rivers and their floodplains requires detailed interdisciplinary planning of sediment management to achieve sustainable morphodynamic conditions for promoting ecosystem diversity. Many restoration actions aim at the re-creation of near-census natural conditions of sediment dynamics. A complete restoration of natural conditions is mos...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report presents 13 planning-level designs of potential habitat enhancement projects n the Lower Yuba River, California, USA. In addition, it provides planing-level analyses of some of the ecological benefits and financial costs, along with a prioritization of the projects on those bases.
Article
Full-text available
Substrate facies monitoring is critical for the understanding of fluvial geomorphologic and ecohydraulic patterns and processes. However, direct substrate measurement is time-consuming and subjected to data sparsity because of small sample, size, and limited data collections within an area of interest, which make it difficult to capture facies patt...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The ambition of this symposium was to review and create knowledge and praxis in bedload management, support the implementation of restoration measures in Switzerland and strengthen the international network among scientists and practitioners. Switzerland has the legal goal and the financial tools to restore its rivers from the impacts of sediment...
Article
Full-text available
Numerical modeling represents a state‐of‐the‐art technique to simulate hydro‐morphodynamic processes in river ecosystems. Numerical models are often validated based on observed topographic change in the form of pixel information on net erosion or deposition over a simulation period. When model validation is performed by a pixel‐by‐pixel comparison...
Cover Page
Full-text available
Water and sediments interact at different spatial and temporal scales in freshwaters promoting the development of highly dynamic systems. Sediment erosion, transport, and deposition are vital processes shaping morphological patterns of river ecosystems. The dynamic displacement of sediment is also essential for creating and maintaining diverse habi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Hydro-morphodynamic models are increasingly popular for predicting sedimentation processes in reservoirs. To leverage the accuracy of such models, their boundary conditions have to be defined as precise as possible. While hydrological models provide efficient routines to establish inflow hydrographs at the model boundaries, the determination of the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Legal frameworks and global change have significantly increased the number, opportunities and challenges of river engineering interventions in the last decades. In this context, the dynamics of river systems require rapid sustainable planning and implementation of interventions at rivers. Nowadays, technological progress and data science enable eff...
Article
Full-text available
Riverine fish stranding is of significant concern due to its potentially devastating impacts on fish populations already at risk. Because stranding is dependent on a wide range of biotic and abiotic factors, it is difficult to accurately identify and parameterize fish stranding risks for various river topographies, fish species/lifestages and flow...
Conference Paper
River restoration projects with the goals of habitat enhancement and improved flood pro-tection involve ecological, structural, and socio-economic river design. The current best practice virtually assesses the hydro-geo-climatic river landscape with remote sensing techniques and two-dimensional numerical modelling. The resulting data inform the flo...
Article
Sediment detention basins are implemented on mountain rivers to trap solid material that may aggravate the flooding of downstream settlements. However, retention structures built in the past may unnecessarily retain sediment during non-hazardous flood events, resulting in high maintenance costs and sediment deficit downstream. In addition, the so-c...
Article
Full-text available
River design is often conceptually approached aiming at either physical channel stability or ecological functionality. We present a novel concept within an open-source software called River Architect that addresses both these goals and estimates costs. River Architect is flexible for site- and application-specific characteristics, with modules for...
Poster
Full-text available
Global systemic ecological collapse is underway, including in river ecosystems. Traditional river design involving artistically drawn polylines aided by computers cannot meet the needs of producing ecologically and geomorphically sustainable river corridors. Instead, society needs a way to deconstruct known ecosystem mechanisms from functioning riv...
Poster
Full-text available
River channel connectivity plays a vital role in determining the ecologic success of river restoration, habitat enhancement, and management efforts, yet the importance of lateral habitat connectivity is often overlooked. However, if channel connectivity is not adequately addressed, fish stranding and redd dewatering may have devastating impacts on...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Sustainable concepts of ecologically functional rivers challenge engineers, researchers, and planners. Advanced numerical modeling techniques produce nowadays high-precision terrain maps and spatially explicit hydrodynamic data that aid river design. Because of their complexity, however, ecomorphological processes can only be reproduced to a limite...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Yuba River Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study (YRERFS) was one of three ecosystem restoration project studies authorized by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in 2014. Congressional authorization to initiate the study was granted through the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, 2014, Division D, P.L. 113-76. After complet...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Geoscientists, researchers and engineers study and work on similar projects all over the world. The exchange of information between colleagues of different countries who work on homologous projects or in similar fields requires a common technical vocabulary. Differences in the usage of technical terms and their varying definitions in different regi...
Article
Full-text available
Research and engineering efforts are establishing a vast number of stream restoration planning approaches, design testing frameworks, construction techniques, and performance evaluation methods. A primary question arises as to the lifespan of stream restoration features. This study develops a framework to identify relevant parameters, design criter...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic, eco-morphological degradation of lotic waters necessitates laws, directives, and voluntary actions involving stream restoration and habitat enhancement. Research and engineering efforts are establishing a vast number of stream restoration planning approaches, design testing frameworks, construction techniques, and performance evaluat...
Poster
Full-text available
Physical habitat losses for Pacific salmonids in California’s Central Valley motivate stream restoration. Considerable river morphodynamics affect the sustainability of habitat enhancing interventions. In addition, the presence of large dams in many river catchments causes low sediment supply. This study revises existing stream restoration techniqu...
Article
Geschieberückhalt in stark sedimentführenden Gewässern ist im alpinen Raum elementar für den Hochwasserschutz, jedoch unzuträglich für die natürliche Flussmorphologie und aquatische Lebewesen im Unterlauf. Mit systematischen Versuchen wurde ein neues Konzept für einen Geschiebesammler entwickelt, welcher das Geschiebe bei kleinen, ungefährlichen Ho...
Article
In-stream open check dams are essential for flood protection at mountain rivers that are characterized by steep slopes (> 1%) and sediment-laden flood discharges. These structures comprise an opening acting as a lateral or vertical flow contraction to force sediment retention when floods occur. Otherwise, the contraction should not affect the runof...
Article
Conventional sediment traps mainly consist of a deposition area with a downstream open check dam to retain bed load during hazardous floods. But sediment deposition is often already triggered during non-hazardous floods, thus interrupting the eco-morphological river continuity. Moreover, the functional failure of sediment traps due to unwanted sedi...
Article
Sediment traps with partially open check dams are crucial elements for flood protection in alpine regions. The trapping of sediment is necessary when intense sediment transport occurs during floods that may endanger urban areas at downstream river reaches. In turn, the unwanted permanent trapping of sediment during small, non-hazardous floods can r...
Article
Conventional sediment traps mainly consist of a deposition area with a downstream open check dam to retain bed load during hazardous floods. But sediment deposition is often already triggered during non-hazardous floods, thus interrupting the eco-morphological river continuity. Moreover, the functional failure of sediment traps due to unwanted sedi...
Article
Full-text available
Sediment traps are crucial elements for flood protection in mountain rivers with high sediment transport capacity. Existing structures often interrupt the channel connectivity. Ideally, a sediment trap should be permeable for bed load during non-hazardous floods and ensure sediment retention during hazardous discharges. A new sediment trap concept,...
Article
Two-phase flows occurring at flow constrictions such as bridges or open sediment check dams are complex, especially for steep rivers with bedload transport. Dangerous bedload deposition and backwater effects may occur in steep mountain rivers at bridges. In contrast, sediment deposition is desirable at open check dams combined with sediment traps....
Article
Full-text available
Sediment traps created by partially open torrential barriers are crucial elements for flood protection in alpine regions. The trapping of sediment is necessary when intense sediment transport occurs during floods that may endanger urban areas at downstream river reaches. In turn, the unwanted permanent trapping of sediment during small, non-hazardo...
Article
Full-text available
Two-phase flows occurring at flow constrictions such as bridges or open sediment check dams are complex, especially for steep rivers with bedload transport. Dangerous bedload deposition and backwater effects may occur in steep mountain rivers at bridges. In contrast, sediment deposition is desirable at open check dams combined with sediment traps....
Thesis
Full-text available
Sediment traps are used for the protection of urban settlements at rivers in mountainous regions. These structures aim at the retention of sediment in the case of hazardous floods, but existing sediment traps tend to retain sediment also when the discharge is not hazardous to the downstream urban regions. This excessive retention of sediment causes...
Article
Full-text available
During floods, the bedload transport of steep headwaters can exceed the hydraulic transport capacity of milder downstream reaches where settlements are often situated. Therefore, sediment retention barriers are typically installed upstream of such sensible areas. These barriers trigger bedload trapping via two control mechanisms, either hydraulic o...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The design of open check dams at mountain rivers for flood protection has an essential impact on the sediment budget of downstream river reaches. A key issue is the bedload transfer hindering and retention which can be influenced by the geometry of the openings of check dams. Contemporary design concepts provoke the retention of too much or insuffi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Keywords: Retention reservoir, Open check dam, Sediment deposition, Bed load 1. Introduction Sediment traps are thus classically used in flood hazard mitigation (Zollinger, 1983; Ghilardi et al., 2012). Typical sediment traps consist of an upstream basin combined with an open check dam at the outlet (Fig. 1 a). However, in some cases spatial or geo...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Open check dams are built to retain bed load in case of major floods and may have filtering, sieving as well as dosing effects on sediment transport. The combination of an upstream reservoir with an open check dam is designated as bed load trap. These structures are crucial elements for flood protection in mountainous regions as the sediment transp...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Dynamic morphological processes in mountain torrents do not only attract the attention of many contemporary researchers, but are also a relevant issue for the design of flood protection measures in the downstream sections where dwellers may be threatened by the important potential of flows with high concentration of sediments. Events which have a m...
Article
Full-text available
Turbulences in liquids caused by jets can be of interest for numerous applications. For one, it concerns flood spillway structures within civil engineering but also is key in any area where turbulent mixing is present. The numerical simulations of jets that impinge into plunge pools are still in an early phase of their development. This paper verif...
Article
Open check dams are built to retain bed load in case of major floods and may have filtering, sieving as well as dosing effects on sediment transport. The combination of an upstream reservoir with an open check dam is designated as bed load trap. These structures are crucial elements for flood protection in mountainous regions as the sediment transp...
Article
Full-text available
Die vollständige Spülung von Dufour-Sandfängen geht einher mit erheblichen Verlusten des Triebwassers, wodurch der Anlagenertrag geschmälert wird. Die Effizienz eines neuartigen Spülsystems wird durch numerische Simulationen anhand einer Fallstudie eines Dufour-Sandfangs bewiesen. Das System ermöglicht gleichmäßige Geschwindigkeitsverteilungen entl...

Questions

Question (1)
Question
The notion of Weighted Usable (habitat) Area (WUA) in aquatic environments stems from Ken Bovee's technical report on the Development and evaluation of Habitat Suitability Criteria for use in the instream flow incremental methodology from 1986. The method builds on the evaluation of a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) that ranges from 0 to 1, but is not a probability. Because of the value range of HSI, it is sometimes confusingly used as a multiplier to calculate usable habitat area from two-dimensional (2d) numerical model output. The outcome of this approach is a notion of m²-Index and not m², which is strictly speaking a non-sense unit. To overcome the use of confusing units when HSI is used with spatially explicit 2d models, we use in our River Architect software (https://riverarchitect.github.io) a threshold value as on-off trigger to define if a pixel's area counts as usable habitat or not. Other commercial software, such as CASiMiR, use fuzzy sets to overcome some challenges, but eventually come back to a per-pixel association of habitat area. To this end, habitat assessment is complex and should account for multiple target fish species and their lifestages. For instance, the preferred habitat of juvenile trout differs significantly from that of adult trout. In a nutshell, there are many options and nearby every country has defined own standards for snapshot-like habitat assessment in public projects.
This is why I am addressing the following questions for an open discussion and experience reporting to the community : How do you assess habitat in rivers? How do you account for changing habitat preferences among target fish species and/or lifestages? Ultimately, how do you deal with competing habitat requirements in river restoration design, when the blurry overall goal is to "improve habitat conditions for indigenous species"?

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Projects

Projects (4)
Project
An EGU session that accommodates fundamental and applied research, presenting approaches at different spatio-temporal scales. Contributions may include holistic tools and methods to improve the assessment, prediction, or management of restoration and mitigation measures in aquatic systems, with a focus on hydrological, fluvial-geomorphological, biological, and societal interactions. Submit: https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU22/abstractsubmission/43393
Project
Flood protection has developed from individual, selective measures to ecologically and socio-economically integrated measure concepts. This project features research supporting such integrated approaches.
Project
Analyzing stream evolution for designing sustainable and flexible interventions at rivers. Interventions are defined as direct or indirect anthropogenic modifications, e.g., for habitat enhancement, flood protection or structural purposes.