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Geomorphic Analysis of River Systems: An Approach to Reading the Landscape

Overview

Reading the landscape’ entails making sense of what a riverscape looks like, how it works, how it has evolved over time, and how alterations to one part of a catchment may have secondary consequences elsewhere, over different timeframes. Such analyses interpret how component parts of a landscape fit together, and how they are likely to adjust into the future. Implicitly, such understandings frame rivers in their landscape context. Rather than presenting a how-to guide, this book outlines an approach to reading ...

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Geomorphic Analysis of River Systems: An Approach to Reading the Landscape

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Overview

Reading the landscape’ entails making sense of what a riverscape looks like, how it works, how it has evolved over time, and how alterations to one part of a catchment may have secondary consequences elsewhere, over different timeframes. Such analyses interpret how component parts of a landscape fit together, and how they are likely to adjust into the future. Implicitly, such understandings frame rivers in their landscape context. Rather than presenting a how-to guide, this book outlines an approach to reading the landscape that is framed around the geomorphic analysis of river systems.

The first part of this book presents foundational understandings and general principles with which to interpret river character, behaviour and evolution in any given system. This part of the book presents an array of geomorphic principles, ideas and tools which underpins the approach to reading the landscape that is presented in the second half of the book. Detective-style, field-based investigations and understandings are tied to theoretical and conceptual principles to generate catchment-specific analyses of river character, behaviour and evolution, including responses to human disturbance. The approach to reading the landscape provides a way to interpret rivers across the range of environmental settings.

This book has been constructed as an introductory text on river landscapes, providing a bridge to more advanced principles outlined in other textbooks and scientific literature. The target audience is second and third year undergraduate students in geomorphology, hydrology, earth science and environmental science, as well as river practitioners who use geomorphic understandings in scientific and/or management applications.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Recommended readings for each chapter complement the bibliography and enhance the book's overall value. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, and professionals/practitioners.” (Choice, 1 August 2013)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405192750
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/17/2012
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 10.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Kirstie Fryirs is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Environment and Geography at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. She has worked extensively on river systems in Australia. Her research focuses on geomorphic river evolution, post-European disturbance responses, sediment budgets and connectivity, and geoecology. Her research is used extensively in river management practice.

Gary Brierley is Chair of Physical Geography in the School of Environment at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Building upon his geomorphic research on river systems in western Canada, Australia and New Zealand, his recent work has been undertaken in western China and parts of South America. His research interests also include concerns for environmental justice, transitional practices in river science and management, and emerging approaches to environmental governance.

The primary focus of both Kirstie and Gary’s research and teaching entails the use of geomorphic principles as a tool with which to develop coherent scientific understandings of river systems, and the application of these in management practice. Kirstie and Gary are co-developers of the River Styles® Framework and Short Course that is widely used in river management, decision-making and training.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 introduces the reader to key conceptual tools with which to analyse rivers. We will examine what fluvial geomorphology is, and introduce the notion of reading the landscape..

Chapter 2 considers process relationships at the catchment-scale, emphasizing patterns and linkages within drainage basins and along longitudinal profiles..

Chapter 3 examines the fundamental energy conditions that fashion the geomorphology of rivers, emphasizing how these relationships vary at different positions in catchments..

Chapters 4-7 build up a picture of the primary components of river systems, starting at the finer scale and working through to a synthesis on river diversity in Chapter 8. Chapter 4 examines processes on the bed of rivers, focusing upon sediment transport and bed material organization. Chapter 5 analyses the erosional and depositional landforms that make up river channels. Chapter 6 integrates processes on the bed and banks of rivers to analyse variation in channel geometry. Chapter 7 considers the range of forms and processes that create and rework floodplains. The synthesis presented in chapter 8 reviews the spectrum of river character and behaviour..

Chapter 9 analyses forms and scales of river adjustment. River behaviour is differentiated from river change. River evolution is framed in context of geological and climatic controls..

Chapter 10 appraises river responses to human disturbance..

Management implications are examined in Chapter 11.

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