Sediment Transport Impacts

“Sediment transport” on lakes is generally in reference to longshore sediment movement, caused primarily by wave action. It can be either accretion (deposition of sediments) or erosion (loss of sediments). Erosion often leads to damages and therefore it is important to consider these processes during the design phase.

Erosion is often the result of a man-made structure, such as a wall, which may have been built originally to retain land by someone unaware of the effects of reflected wave action on scour and undermining. We can assist your team to make sure your projects don’t have these issues.

Sediment transport and circulation studies are being asked for more frequently by provincial regulators during the permitting process on any sort of structure in water. Sediment transport impact studies are often required for any proposed structure that could change the natural processes of longshore sediment transport, or an existing structure than may have had an impact. Permits are often withheld until this is resolved.

The Waters Edge team can aid you with many sediment transport issues on lakes. Sediment transport is a subject that many people overlook as lakes are much more mobile than usually thought of. We are here to help!

Examples of sediment transport services

  • Engineering opinion on keeping/removing existing structures within the lake, especially in Crown Land encroachment situations.
  • Sediment transport impact assessments for proposed structures such as docks and marinas with breakwaters
  • Design input for docks, boat launches etc. to adapt to highly mobile sediments
  • Assess structures such as groynes and their value to break up the shoreline and minimize longshore sediment transport
Sandbar making docks unusable

Sandbar in Kelowna, BC

This is a mobile area where infrastructure is heavily impacted as the sand bar slowly moves north. We understand sediment transport processes and can help make your waterfront work.

Groyne retaining sand

Vernon, BC

Groynes are effective to minimize longshore sediment transport, although they are not favourable with the provincial regulators do to the potential impacts in their lee.

Boat launch ramp unusable due to sandbar

Boat Launch, Kelowna

Siting boat launches is challenging and should not be in active longshore sediment transport zones if possible.



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What we do.

  • Hydrotechnical – Coastal – Civil engineering & consulting.

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