Rosgen Type F Streams

January 25, 2012 Print Friendly and PDF
An "F" Channel Type.
Photo courtesy of the National Riparian Service Team.

Type F streams are meandering, entrenched, and highly incised systems in low gradient landforms. In these systems, top-of-bank elevation is much higher than bankfull elevation. Type F streams are often working towards re-establishment of a functional floodplain inside the confines of a channel that is consistently increasing its width within the valley. These streams are characterized by very high channel width/depth ratios at the bankfull stage, and bedform features occurring as a moderated riffle/pool sequence. Type F stream channels can develop very high bank erosion rates, lateral extension rates, significant bare deposition and accelerated channel aggradation and/or degradation while providing for very high sediment supply and storage capacities. Boulder and bedrock systems are usually stable, while gravel and sand-bed F channels can have high bank erosion rates and are often a failed or failing Type C channel.


Montana Stream Management Guide for Landowners, Managers, and Stream Users. 1998. Montana Dept. of Environmental Quality. 34 pp.

Rosgen, D. L. (1994). A classification of natural rivers. Catena, 22, 169-199.

Rosgen, D.L. and H.L. Silvey. 1996. Applied River Morphology. Wildland Hydrology Books, Fort Collins, CO.

Surber, Gene and Bob Ehrhart. 1998. Stream and Riparian Area Management. Montana State University Cooperative Extension Service.

United States Environmental Protection Agency. 2008. Fundamentals of the Rosgen Stream Classification System. USDA EPA Watershed Academy. Accessed on 17 May 2010.

Ward, A., J. L. D’Ambrosio, and D. Mecklenburg. 2008. Stream Classification. The Ohio State University Extension. Agriculture and Natural Resources Fact Sheet AEX-445-01.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.