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Eldeufer in Lübz

The bank is the land area immediately adjacent to a body of water . In the case of rivers , the right and left bank can be clearly defined based on the direction of flow.

to form

The area of ​​the shore area varies due to the fluctuating water level and to land accesses and exits caused by erosion and currents.

Shore forms are:

The following remarks refer to the shores of inland waters , for sea shores see the article Coast .

Bank area

The boundary area between water and mainland is generally referred to as the bank area, without a clear definition of the spatial boundaries in the immediate vicinity of this boundary area .

As a rule, large parts of the bank areas are characterized by a variable water level , water balance and local vegetation. The bank area includes both the waterfront strip and the adjacent bank zone with its structural elements and the final outer bank zone.

Bank vegetation and bank areas have a high ecological value. Because of their importance for biodiversity are natural and near herds within the meaning of conservation get upgraded as possible, revitalized and rehabilitated are.

Riparian strips

The riparian zones is legally in Germany defined by § 38 Water Act and is therefore of "maintaining and improving the ecological functions of surface water, water storage, securing the runoff and the reduction of material inputs from diffuse sources" and "comprises the shore and the area, which borders the water on the land side of the line of the mean water level. The waterway edge strip is measured from the line of the mean water level, in waters with a pronounced upper edge of the embankment from the upper edge of the embankment ”. Structural structures, the cultivation of certain crops, soil plowing and plant protection measures are prohibited or regulated here. The federal states can regulate the width of 5 m defined in the Water Management Act and other parameters differently through their own water laws.

Riparian zone

The shore zone (littoral) is the narrow border area of ​​water bodies with a linear structure (land use), fluctuating water balance and clear boundaries. The bank zone is sharply delimited from the channel of a flowing water by the mean water line or bank line on the water side. On the land side, the bank zone can be clearly distinguished from the adjoining (more extensive) usable area (boundary lines are, for example, field edge furrows, pasture fences, building edge, road edge, edge of a sealed area, etc.).

The riparian zones of forest parcels cannot be clearly delimited due to the comparable forest cover and the mostly continuous transition, which is why a maximum value of 15 m or 25 m width is assumed in the forest .

Bank zones can consist of different bank zone structural members, e.g. B. riparian strips, herbaceous areas, riparian wooded areas and embankments. Shore zones usually appear on both sides of the watercourse, but are partially absent in sections with strong overbuilding (often in densely populated terrain) (0 m width e.g. in the case of encapsulation , piping, channeling , bridges, overbuilding).

The bank zone is always part of the not clearly separated bank area.


Embankment of the River Avon (Severn, Bristol)

Steep water-side part of the bank zone, which was created by fluvial erosion (deep erosion, side erosion, bank erosion) and which remains due to persistent fluvial undercut. The bank embankment borders directly on the river bed and is often only sparsely overgrown because of the lower incidence of light (overhanging trees in the wooded area of ​​the bank) and the steep slope.

Surface-bound material discharge into the water takes place from this part of the bank zone - erosively and mostly fluvially initiated - to a particular extent. In wetlands , marshland, still waters and similar landscape areas with a small distance from the groundwater surface, there is sometimes no embankment.

Riparian woodland zone

It is the near-natural part of the shore zone, which in Central Europe is overgrown with woody plants (trees and bushes in the broader sense). Often the riparian woodland zone merges seamlessly into herbaceous areas (are no longer part of them) or into steep bank slopes (only belonging to wooded areas). The alluvial forests of the riparian wooded zones are of particular importance for nature conservation in terms of their bio-ecological functions ( area networking, etc.).

A closed riparian woodland zone offers numerous animals, especially insects, fish, amphibians, birds and small mammals, protection and habitat, but also prevents bank damage and damage to adjacent properties. By providing shade, the riparian wooded zone counteracts weed growth, water warming and excessive algae formation, which also increases the self-cleaning power of the water . Typical trees in this zone are alder , elm or willow .

See also


  • R. Koch: Bank zones of rivers in small catchment areas in the Basel region - geo-ecological processes, nutrient and water balance, soil dynamics, mapping, functions and target width determination . Dissertation at the Geographical Institute of the University of Basel, 2007.

Web links

Wiktionary: Ufer  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : River banks  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Swiss Confederation, riparian vegetation and riparian area according to NHG, scientific definition and explanation of the terms, based on Articles 18 and 21 of the Swiss Federal Law on Nature and Heritage Protection , Federal Office for the Environment, Forests and Landscape (SAEFL), 1997 ( Memento from 28. June 2013 in the Internet Archive )
  2. Page no longer available , search in web archives: Swiss Confederation, legal basis for the renaturation of water bodies, water protection law @1@ 2Template: Dead Link /
  3. Bank renaturation of built-up bank areas , wikipedia: International Water Protection Commission for Lake Constance (igkb)
  4. §38 of the Water Resources Act . In: Law for the order of the water balance . Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  5. z. B.
  6. Andreas Dölz: New regulations for the waterfront strip . In: Badische Bauernzeitung . February 17, 2014. Accessed July 15, 2020.
  7. ↑ The riparian strip in Baden-Württemberg: Requirements and practical implementation for agriculture . September 2018. Retrieved July 15, 2020.
  8. z. B. Section 29 of the Baden-Württemberg Water Act . Retrieved July 15, 2020.