U.S. Department of Defense



Date of this Version



Published by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (2008) 1-2


Spring rise is a term used to describe the natural fluctuations in a river’s water level. Flooding is a natural part of a river’s relationship with its surrounding floodplain, and a river’s native wildlife and plant life become specially adapted to a river’s annual rise and fall. The frequency, duration, magnitude and timing of a river’s floods determine the types of species that associate with the river, over time creating an interdependent food web and ecosystem. In addition to controlling river biodiversity, spring rises affect the physical environment by adding nutrients to the surroundings, creating habitats for certain species, and making areas of the floodplain available as habitat and feeding areas for aquatic species.