This French survey method, created in response to the European Water Framework Directive Survey, is designed to quickly produce a broad overview of a river’s health, in comparison to a river with little to no human impact.  Initially, reaches are delineated by analyzing maps, followed by field-based assessments limited to mainstem rivers.  Field observations focus on structural elements of the channel, bank, and floodplain.

Parameters Measured (Note: individual parameters are optional):

Planform, Longitudinal profile, Natural and Artificial substrate Type, Degree of siltation, compaction, of substrate, Structural form of macrophytes, erosional and depositional features in channel, flow patterns, flow features, discharge regime, Artificial barriers to flow, Bank materials, types of bank protection, bank profiles, riparian vegetation, adjacent land use, adjacent wetland features, degree of constraint to lateral migration


Agence de l’Eau Rhin-Meuse. 1996. Outil d’evaluation de la qualite du milieu physique - synthese. Metz.

Raven, P. J., N. T. H. Holmes, P. Charrier, F. H. Dawson, M. Naura, and P. J. Boon. 2002. Towards a harmonized approach for hydromorphological assessment of rivers in Europe: a qualitative comparison of three survey methods. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems, 12(4), 405-424