Fluvial Geomorphology

River Diversity

Module 10: River Diversity

See Corresponding Assignment


Why we’re covering it

This class is focused on introducing fluvial geomorphology by reading riverscapes. Through moudles 1 through 9, you have been building up the pieces and skills to read any riverscape. In this module, we apply that at the riverscape reach scale. In other words, we identify the type or river style of the riverscape at the extent of a reach from both a bottom-up (geomorphic units as building blocks) and top down (catchment, landscape and valley-scale controls) perspective. We will explore the enormous diversity of riverscapes on this planet and how to take any riverscape anywhere and identify is defining and distinguishing attributes, and what you might call it.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Confidently read any riverscape and be able to map its core characteristics.
  2. Apply principles of geomorphic analysis to a diversity of riverscapes.
  3. Recognize the primary controls on riverscape diversity, in which distinctive suites of physical and biotic processes (behavior) help shape the form and character of those landscapes.

Lectures (videos) & Slides

Part 1 - Intro, Multi-Scalar Framing, & Reach Breaks

Part 1 - Lecture Playlist

25 minutes

Part 2 - River Diversity Explored & Discriminating Variables

Part 2 - Lecture Playlist

46 minutes

Part 3 - River Styles & Tips for Interpreting Diversity

Part 3 - Lecture Playlist

34 minutes


Corresponding Chapter in Course Text

From: Fryirs KA, Brierley GA. 2013. Geomorphic Analysis of River Systems: An Approach to Reading the Landscape, First Edition. Blackwell Publishing Ltd.: Chichester, U.K.

This module focus on: CHAPTER TEN: River diversity

Relevant or Cited Literature

Follow up selected readings suggested by Fryris and Brierley (2013) are provided for every chapter in page 328-334 of the text book.

See also:

Brierley & Fryirs (2005) River Styles Framework

The River Styles Framework is laid out in Part 2 of the Brierley and Fryirs (2005) book and is the conceptual basis for much of our book. For an overview lecture of the framework, see this Module in WATS 6860 Ecohydraulics.