Restoration of Río Humacao Fluvial System
Miranda Rodríguez, José D.
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Río Humacao is located in the southeast coast of Puerto Rico and generally flows eastward into the Vieques Passage along a trapezoidal earth channel that runs approximately 7 kilometers upstream from the river mouth. For many years, the traditional way of canalizing rivers for flood control has been using prismatic, straight, single-section trapezoidal channel geometries. This single-section channel design approach, which uses the same cross section to convey low flows, bankfull discharges and flood events, has its roots in the design of irrigation channels with uniform flow, and lack the ability to transport sediment in a natural streamflow environment. As a consequence, these types of channels suffer sedimentation, lose hydraulic capacity, and require frequent maintenance. The main objective of this project is to replace the existing trapezoidal channel with a naturalized channel designed to meander, be self maintaining, and that can withstand 100-year floods. Key Terms ⎯ fluvial geomorphology, natural channel design, Río Humacao, river restoration.