The energy of the river, geologist John Field said in his draft report, could be controlled by planting log cribs that would keep the water from working against the upper banks. "All this energy will be spent on the beach," said Field, of Field Geology Services in Farmington, Maine, hired by FirstLight Power, operator of the Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage Project.
said statistics show that one foot of bank is lost each year.
At key spots in the Turners Falls Pool that company has undertaken varying systems of erosion control, ranging from installing "riprap," a bed of rocks, to planting special vegetation. Field
said the causes of the erosion are complex, with a variety of things at play, including the water level fluctuations, currents and the wakes of boats. He
said 20 percent of the pool's banks now have riprap, but that is not the best way to tackle the problem because eventually the rocks will be undermined, and in the meantime things will get worse for unprotected areas.
"Future bioengineering efforts should experiment with woody debris installments to buttress the bank, trap fine sediment, and create a low bench similar to what existed prior to the raising of the Turners Falls Dam," he
said the Turners Falls dam was raised 6 feet by the power company in 1970 to increase the volume of water in the pool, producing an average 2-foot depth increase for the pool, which stretches from the Turners Falls to the Vernon Dam in Vermont.