WATS 5150 - Syllabus
This course focuses on an introduction to fluvial geomorphology through teaching students to read landscapes and riverscapes. Students will develop an appreciation of riverscape diversity, in which distinctive suites of physical and biotic processes (behavior) help shape the form and character of those landscapes. Weekend field trips are required.
|Semester(s) Traditionally Offered||Fall|
|Credits:||3.000 Credit hours|
|Schedule Types:||Hybrid Face to Face Lecture|
|Cross-Listed As:||WATS 6150/ GEO 5150/6150|
|Pre-requisites||For Undergraduates: WATS 3600 (Geomorphology) and WATS 4490 (Small Watershed Hydrology).|
This course will typically be taught every Fall. However, the first revamped version of the class will be taught Spring 2021 (Fall 2021 will be skipped). Wheaton has a sabbatical planned for Fall 2022-2023. So, next planned for Fall 2023.
Regular Tuition. $150 Field Trip course fee.
This is an introductory course in fluvial geomorphology. Geomorphology is the study of landforms and processes that shape them. Fluvial geomorphology is a sub-discipline that focuses on fluvial processes (i.e., shaped by water) and landforms. We call the part of the landscape in which fluvial processes dominate, riverscapes.
By the end of this course, you will be able to:
- Confidently read any riverscape and be able to map its core characteristics.
- Differentiate influence of external controls (e.g., climate and catchment) vs. local controls on form and process.
- Apply principles of geomorphic analysis to a diversity of riverscapes.
- 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.
- Understand how hydrologic processes, give rise to hydraulic processes, which in local riverscapes determine the rates, magnitudes and occurece of fluvial geomorphic proceses.
- Appreciate that topography is a quantitative record of landforms and apply morphometric analysis can be used to map and differentiate those landforms (i.e., geomorphic units).
- Gain an appreciation of how geomorphic processes of erosion, deposition transport and storage of sediment shape topography and create, maintain, sculpt and destroy distinctive landforms.
- Understand human impacts on riverscapes and fluvial forces.
- Recognize how geomorphic analysis is used in practice to help manage riverscapes.
Required and Optional Course Resources (e.g., textbook, safety equipment, etc.).
Fyirs & Brierley (2013)
Fryirs KA, Brierley GA. 2013. Geomorphic Analysis of River Systems: An Approach to Reading the Landscape, First Edition. Blackwell Publishing Ltd.: Chichester, U.K.
To view through the library by Chapter:
- CHAPTER ONE: Geomorphic analysis of river systems: an approach to reading the landscape
- CHAPTER TWO: Key concepts in river geomorphology
- CHAPTER THREE: Catchment-scale controls on river geomorphology
- CHAPTER FOUR: Catchment hydrology
- CHAPTER FIVE: Impelling and resisting forces in river systems
- CHAPTER SIX: Sediment movement and deposition in river systems
- CHAPTER SEVEN: Channel geometry
- CHAPTER EIGHT: Instream geomorphic units
- CHAPTER NINE: Floodplain forms and processes
- CHAPTER TEN: River diversity
- CHAPTER ELEVEN: River behaviour
- CHAPTER TWELVE: River evolution
- CHAPTER THIRTEEN: Human impacts on river systems
- CHAPTER FOURTEEN: Sediment flux at the catchment scale: source-to-sink relationships
- CHAPTER FIFTEEN: The usefulness of river geomorphology: reading the landscape in practice
See also the Student Companion website for the book.
Brierley & Fryirs (2005) - Optional
- Brierley, G., and K. Fryirs 2005. Geomorphology and River Management: Applications of the River Styles Framework. Blackwell Publishing, Victoria, Australia.
Each student will:
Evaluation Methods and Criteria
(e.g., exams, presentations, papers, performances, etc.)
The following grading standards will be used in this class:
|A||100 % to 93.0%|
|A-||< 93.0 % to 90.0%|
|B+||< 90.0 % to 87.0%|
|B||< 87.0 % to 83.0%|
|B-||< 83.0 % to 80.0%|
|C+||< 80.0 % to 77.0%|
|C||< 77.0 % to 73.0%|
|C-||< 73.0 % to 70.0%|
|D+||< 70.0 % to 67.0%|
|D||< 67.0 % to 60.0%|
|F||< 59.0 % to 0.0%|
Outline dates and assignments
Attendance and Excused Absences Policy
Insert course policy content here.
All USU students attending classes in Logan, at our Regional Campuses, or online can access all databases, e-journals, and e-books regardless of location. Additionally, the library will mail printed books to students, at no charge to them. Students can also borrow books from any Utah academic library. Take advantage of all library services and learn more at libguides.usu.edu/rc. (Links to an external site.)
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University Policies & Procedures
COVID-19 Classroom Protocols
In order to continue to provide a high standard of instruction at USU, and to limit the spread of COVID-19 during the pandemic, students are asked to follow certain classroom protocols during the fall 2020 semester. These protocols are in place not only for your safety but also the safety of the rest of the campus community. You will be asked to clean your desk area at the start of each class, sit in designated seats, wear face coverings, and follow dismission instructions. There may be individual medical circumstances that prevent some students from using face coverings. These circumstances will be rare, but if they do exist, we ask that everyone be respectful. It is imperative that we each do our part so that on-campus instruction can continue.
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The instructor of this course will take appropriate actions in response to Academic Dishonesty, as defined the University’s Student Code. Acts of academic dishonesty include but are not limited to:
using, attempting to use, or providing others with any unauthorized assistance in taking quizzes, tests, examinations, or in any other academic exercise or activity. Unauthorized assistance includes:
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Withdrawal Policy and “I” Grade Policy
Students are required to complete all courses for which they are registered by the end of the semester. In some cases, a student may be unable to complete all of the coursework because of extenuating circumstances, but not due to poor performance or to retain financial aid. The term ‘extenuating’ circumstances includes: (1) incapacitating illness which prevents a student from attending classes for a minimum period of two weeks, (2) a death in the immediate family, (3) financial responsibilities requiring a student to alter a work schedule to secure employment, (4) change in work schedule as required by an employer, or (5) other emergencies deemed appropriate by the instructor.
Students with Disabilities
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