A Geographic Information System (GIS)-based geomorphic assessment was performed to quickly identify opportunities and constraints for a river restoration and riverfront redevelopment project along Four Mile Run in Alexandria, Virginia. This assessment was further used to guide channel restoration design. Components of the GIS-based geomorphic assessment included the following: 1) review of existing data, 2) analysis of historical discharge data, 3) assessment of historical conditions using historical aerial photographs, 4) delineation of the channel into geomorphic reaches, 5) description of channel geometry, 6) description of longitudinal profile, and 7) channel bed sediment sampling.
In addition, to mitigate the effects of uncontrolled runoff from existing development, GIS was applied to develop near-stream stormwater management retrofits that could be implemented in conjunction with stream restoration. These options ranged from deployment of infrastructure retrofits; spatially-distributed, landscape-based stormwater BMPs; and stream daylighting. The result of this effort was a comprehensive master plan that satisfied multiple complex objectives in a short period of time.