City of Dawson Creek (Ebbwater Consulting)

Dawson Creek Flood and Erosion Hazard Mapping

Pinpointing the impacts of extreme floods on fluvial and hill slope processes

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Erosional processes along the creeks within the limits of the City of Dawson Creek, in northeastern British Columbia, are driven by a combination of natural adjustments along meandering watercourses and historical anthropogenic alterations to channel morphology.

Mass movements along the outer cut-banks of the creek are also contributing to channel instability by repeatedly depositing sediments in the channel. Palmer was retained by Ebbwater Consulting, on behalf of the City of Dawson Creek, to complete a comprehensive geomorphological assessment and delineate existing and future erosion hazard zones where property and infrastructure may be at risk.

City of Dawson Creek (Ebbwater Consulting)
  • Fluvial Geomorphology
  • Geohazards
June 2019 - May 2020

What We're Doing

Palmer conducted comparative overlay analysis of historical and recent channel planforms to map where, when, how much, and what type of erosion occurred. Time-averaged rates (metres per year) and trajectories of channel migration/adjustment were calculated. Documented channel changes were associated with particular flood events or anthropogenic alterations. Based on the findings of the fluvial geomorphological assessment, Palmer recommended the City of Dawson Creek replace undersized culvert crossings, determine depths of cover above buried infrastructure, limit future channel realignment and riparian vegetation removal, and update its zoning and planning tools based on documented flood, erosion, and landslide hazards.

Fluvial Geomorphology

Watershed-, reach- or site-scale analysis of river behaviour for baseline characterization of sediment transport patterns, erosion risk assessment and mitigation (e.g. bioengineering) for infrastructure and property protection, and 'natural channel design' for creek realignments and habitat restoration. Past trends are used to manage risk to infrastructure and land development, as well as aquatic and riparian ecology


Identifying and assessing the potential risk of damage to existing infrastructure and developments due to a geological process.