Ecomorphology Level R

Physical characteristics of rivers and streams

With the ecomorphology module, structures in and around water the streams are recorded and assessed in terms of their degree of naturalness.  The aim is to provide an overview of the degree of naturalness of running waters in a region (e.g. cantons, regions, municipalities). During the inspection, the actual morphology of the stream, structural measures in and around the stream, and conditions in the immediate vicinity are assessed on the basis of a few selected features.

Recorded parameters:

Bed width, variations in the breadth of the water surface, artificial beds and bank footings, constitution and width of the banks, and hindrances to fish migration (steps, weirs, etc.).


The various features will be assessed on a point’s basis, each section of water being assigned to one of four categories depending on the number of points obtained. The categories extend from natural/semi-natural to non-natural/artificial, and will be displayed in large-scale maps in the colors blue, green, yellow and red.