Rosgen Type B Streams

January 26, 2012 Print Friendly and PDF
A "B" Channel Type.
Photo courtesy of the National Riparian Service Team

Type B streams are typically moderately entrenched and less steep than Type A streams – usually 2-4 percent. They can be thought of as “babbling brooks” that are found in narrow valleys of rolling hill landforms. The channel bed consists of a series of rapids and cascades with irregular scour pools – also known as “pools and riffles.” The bed and banks are relatively stable, and they are sediment-supply limited systems. If available, large woody debris is an important component of in-stream fish habitat in these systems. Many Type B streams are the result of the integrated influence of structural contact zones, faults, joints, colluvial-alluvial deposits, and structurally controlled valley side-slopes which tend to result in narrow valleys that limit the development of a wide floodplain.


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.