Research & Knowledge

In order to keep current, our staff is encouraged to maintain relationships with academic institutions allowing for continual research in fields related to Geomorphology. By doing so, it encourages us to stay informed of advances in research, technology, and methodology.

We recognize how important the transfer of knowledge is to Clients and Agencies, and that it be continual.


Research topics and partnerships:

- Industry / Academic Postgraduate Scholarships
- Integration of Urban Hydrology and Fluvial Process
- Impacts of Stormwater Management on Floodplain Connectivity and Natural Heritage System Function
- Large-Clast Sediment Transport in Urban-Dominated Rivers
- Detachment and Erodibility of Southern Ontario Tills by Running Water
- Use of UAV Technology to Quantify Sediment Loading in Reservoirs

Launching RiverCat Compressed




A selection of conference presentations and peer reviewed papers

Erosion and Geomorphic Processes

Burgess, A. and Plumb, B.D., 2019. Assessing Scour Potential in Cohesive Bed Materials: Where Traditional Modelling Assumptions and Riverbed Material Realities Diverge. Presented at the 2019 CWRA National Conference. Blue Mountain, Ontario, Canada. May 26-29, 2019.

Brignoli, L., Annable, W.K., Plumb, B.D., 2018. Assessing the Accuracy of Vegetative Roughness Estimates Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles [UAVs]. Ecological Engineering, 118, pp.73-83.

Plumb BD, Hirvonen J, Thompson PJ.  2018. A Review of the Impacts of Urbanization on River Morphology: Current Knowledge, Industry Practices, Challenges, and Future Opportunities, Presented at the 6th International Conference on Natural Channel Systems, Guelph, Ontario, Canada, May 23-25, 2018.

Hirvonen, J.P. and Plumb, B.D., 2018. Culvert Controlled Morphology in a Constrained Urban River: A Case Study in Geomorphic Analysis for Asset Management Decisions. Presented at the 6th International Conference on Natural Channel Systems. Guelph, Ontario, Canada. May 23-25, 2018.

Plumb, B.D., Annable, W.K., Thompson, P.J. and Hassan, M.A., 2017. The Impact of Urbanization on Temporal Changes in Sediment Transport in a Gravel Bed Channel in Southern Ontario, Canada. Water Resources Research, 53(10), pp.8443-8458.

Plumb B.D., Franca, M., Juez, C., Schleiss, A. and Annable, W.K., 2016. The impact of hydrograph variability and frequency on the morphodynamics of gravel-bed rivers. Vol 18, EGU2016-14262, Presented at EGU General Assembly 2016, Vienna, Austria. April 17-22 2016.

Hirvonen, J. and Plumb B.D., 2016. The applicability of using fractional bedload transport modelling as a tool to predict geomorphic change: A novel framework for practitioners using commonly available data. 5th International Conference on Natural Channel Systems, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. September 26-27, 2016.

Plumb, B.D., 2016. The Evolution of Gravel-Bed Morphology Due to Changin Hydrologic Regimes: A Case Study of an Urban Watercourse in Southern Ontario, Canada. 5th International Conference on Natural Channel Systems, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, September 26-27, 2016.

Plumb B.D., Juez, C., Franca, M., McKie, C., Schleiss, A. and Annable, W.K., 2016. A laboratory study on the impact of hydrograph unsteadiness on the morphodynamics of a gravel-bed channel, EP51A-0872. Presented at the 2016 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, California, USA. December 11-15, 2016.

Plumb, B.D. and Annable, W.K., 2014. Quasi-stable channel morphology in response to hydromodification. River Flow 2014 – International Conference on Fluvial Hydraulics, Lausanne, Switzerland. September 3-5, 2014.

Plumb, B.D. and Annable, W.K., 2013. Event-based morphodynamics of urban gravel-watercourses in southern Ontario, Canada. World Environmental & Water Resources Congress, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. May 19-23, 2013.

Annable, W.K., Watson, C.C. and Thompson, P.J., 2012. Quasi-Equilibrium conditions of urban gravel-bed stream channels in Southern Ontario, Canada. River Res. Applic. 28(3):302-325.

Annable, W.K., Lounder V.G. and Watson C.C., 2011. Estimating channel-forming flow in urban watercourses. River Res. Applic. 27(6): 738–753.

Annable, W.K. and Watson, C.C., River Planform and bed morphology characteristics of quasi-equilibrium urban gravel-bed stream channels in Southern Ontario, Canada. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, Accepted.

River Restoration

Hirvonen, J.P. and Plumb, B.D., 2019. Beyond Bankfull: Establishing Suitable Design Criteria for Natural Channel Designs. Presented at the 2019 CWRA National Conference. Blue Mountain, Ontario, Canada. May 26-29, 2019.

Annable W.K., 2012. River Restoration/Rehabilitation - The State of the Science and Practice. Canadian Water Resources Association, Annual Conference, Banff, Alberta, Canada. June 5-8, 2012.

Hirvonen, J., 2005. Natural Channel Design for Protection of an Oil Battery: A Case Study. Ontario Petroleum Institute 44th Annual Conference, London, Ontario, Canada.

Hirvonen, J., 2003. Benefits and Challenges to a Design-Build Approach to Restoration Contracting. Proceedings: Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE) Hydrotechnical Conference, Burlington, Ontario, Canada.

Fisheries and Habitat

Glasbergen, K., 2016. The Use of Unmanned Aerial (UAV) Technologies to Detect Groundwater Inputs in the Credit River. 5th International Conference on Natural Channel Systems, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada. September 26-27, 2016.

Marchildon, M.A., Annable W.K., Power, M. and Imhof, J.G., 2012. A hydrodynamic investigation of brown trout (Salmo Trutta) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) red selection at the riffle scale. River Res. Applic. 28:659-673.

Plumb B.D. and Annable, W.K., 2011. Integrated study of fish passage alternatives for the Dunnville Dam on the Lower Grand River. World Water Day Graduate Research Fair, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. March 22, 2011.

Hirvonen, J., 2004. Concord Floral Dam - Fish Barrier Removal: A Case Study. Proceedings: Third International Conference on Natural Channel Systems, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Integrated Groundwater/Surface Water Modelling

Thompson, P.J., Takeda, M.G.S., Marchildon, M.A., and Roul, I.T., 2019. Application of an Integrated Surface Water-Groundwater Model to Evaluate Low Impact Design Strategies in Southern Ontario. Presented at the 2019 CWRA National Conference. Blue Mountain, Ontario, Canada. May 26-29, 2019.

Marchildon, M.A., Thompson, P.J., Cuddy, S.E., Wexler, E.J., Howson, K. and Kassenaar, J.D., 2016. A methodology for identifying ecologically significant groundwater recharge areas. Canadian Water Resources Journal / Revue canadienne des ressources hydriques 41.4 (2016): 515-527.

Thompson, P.J., Wexler, E.J., Takeda, M.G.S. and Kassenaar, D.C., 2015. Integrated Surface Water/Groundwater Modelling to Simulate Drought and Climate Change Impacts from the Reach to the Watershed Scale. Proceedings of the 2015 conference of the CNC-IAH, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. October 2015.

Takeda, M.G.S., Thompson, P.J., Kassenaar, D.C. and Wexler, E.J., 2014. Dusting Off the Source Water Protection Models: Adaptation and Application of Existing Models to New Projects. Proceedings of the 2014 Latornell Conservation Symposium, Alliston, Ontario, Canada. November 2014.

Thompson, P.J., Marchildon, M.A., Wexler, E.J. and Kassenaar, D.C., 2013. Applications of Integrated Surface Water/Groundwater Modelling - Techniques and Perspectives. Proceedings of the 11th Joint CGS/IAH-CNC Groundwater Conference, GéoMontréal, Montreal, Quebec. October 2013.


Thompson, P.J. and Annable, W.K., 2014. Characterizing change of high frequency return periods in urbanizing southern Ontario watersheds. Proceedings of the CWRA 2014 Canada Water Resources Congress, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Thompson, P.J. and Annable, W.K., 2013. Characterizing change in baseflow interactions with urbanization through event-based hydrograph separation and analysis. Proceedings of the 39th International Association of Hydrogeologists Congress, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.

Thompson, P.J. and Annable, W.K., 2011. Tracking changes in groundwater base flow due to urbanization through high resolution stream gauge data. Proceedings of the 46th Central Canadian Symposium on Water Quality Research, Burlington, Ontario, Canada. February 2011.


Annable W.K., Plumb, B.D., McKie, M., Schekenberger, R., Reinders, F., Moore, G., Oddi, M., DiDomenico, J., Dougan, J. and Portt, C., 2010. Red Hill Creek - The 100+ year return frequency discharge experiment. 4th International Conference on Natural Channel Systems, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. September 27-28, 2010.

Kuta, R.W., Annable, W.K., Tolson, B.A., 2010. Technical Note: Sensitivity of Field Data Estimates in One-Dimensional Hydraulic Modelling of Channels. ASCE Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, J. Hydr. Engrg, Vol. 136(6), 379-384,DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE) HY.1943-7900.0000187.