River Bank Erosion | Causes and Products to help Control Erosion

River Bank Erosion

river bank erosion, stream erosion, riverbank erosion, erosion control in riversRiver bank erosion occurs both naturally and through human impact. Rivers and streams are dynamic systems as they are constantly changing. The natural process of riverbank erosion can produce favorable outcomes such as the formation of productive floodplains and alluvial terraces. Some stable rivers have a healthy amount of erosion; however, unstable rivers and the erosion taking place on those banks are a cause for concern.

Products to Help with Erosion Control

Due to the natural environment (such as plants, vegetation and animals) that typically surrounds rivers, some of the most commonly chosen products include natural fibers such as coir (coconut fibers), straw, and wood. These fibers can help stabilize the area for vegetation, allowing natural erosion control to occur. Some natural fiber products include:

coir erosion control mats

Erosion Control Mats

Erosion Control Mats can include materials ranging anywhere from coconut fiber to straw. Typically coir mats are used in areas with higher flows or steeper slopes, due to their high strength. Types of erosion control mats have included:

  • Coir Erosion Control Mats
  • Straw Erosion Control Mats
  • Straw/Coco Blended Mats
  • Wood Fiber Mats

coir logs

Coir Logs

Coconut Fiber Log is another favorite for river bank erosion control. These erosion control logs are built with coir materials that help to stabilize riverbanks or slopes. Coir Logs are extremely high in strength and often used in demanding applications.

geotextiles Ready to begin your river bank erosion control project? Give us a Call at (+1) 772-646-0597 or toll free at (888) 703-9889.

Advantages of Natural Fiber Products

coir silt checkThe advantages of using some of our natural fiber products are numerous. Due to their natural construction, these products are perfect for natural areas or locations where there is wildlife. Advantages have included:

  • Biodegradable (typically biodegrades over a period anywhere from 12 months to 6 years, depending on the product)
  • Natural Fibers (will not harm surrounding wildlife)
  • Allows for Seeding before and after Installation
  • Helps in the Restoration of Vegetation

All natural fiber products can be found in the list below:

Synthetic Erosion Control Options

In addition the natural fiber products, we also offer several synthetic fabrics that can aid in stabilization, filtration and separation applications. This will include:

Riverbank Erosion Control Facts:

The two types of river bank erosion are:

  1. Bank Scour: Involves the removal of bank material by flowing water and carried sediment. Look for undercutting of the bank toe as a sign of scour and mass failure.

  2. Mass Failure: Characterized by sections of the bank sliding or toppling into the stream. Look for bare and near-vertical banks as a sign of collapse.

The single most effective method of erosion control in rivers is restoring bank vegetation. Allowing the vegetation to colonize and establish a significant root system will strengthen the bank.

Causes of River Bank Erosion

River Bank erosion has several causes with even more factors that can accelerate it. The major causes are flooding, land use, stream management, over-clearing of catchment and stream bank vegetation, and poorly managed sand and gravel extraction

Factors That Accelerate Erosion:

  • Stream bed lowering or in fill
  • Flooding of bank soils followed by rapid drops in flow
  • Saturation of banks from off-stream source
  • Redirection and acceleration of flow within the channel
  • Poor Soil Drainage
  • Wave Action
  • Excessive Sand/Gravel Extraction
  • Intense Water from Rainfall


Questions? Our GEI Works sales team would be happy to support you.

See our 7 simple water pollution solutions.

Call (+1) 772-646-0597 or toll free at (888) 703-9889 to discuss your river bank erosion requirements or click on the chat button below for immediate response within our office hours (mon - fri, 8 am - 5 pm EST).