The width (w) depth (d), meander wavelength (l), gradient (s), shape (w/d), and sinuosity (P) of stable alluvial river channels are dependent on the volume of water moving through the channel (Qw) and the type of sediment load conveyed through the channel (Qs).
Empirical equations developed from data collected along modern alluvial rivers permit calculation of the effects of changes of hydrologic regimen (Qw, Qs) on channel morphology. Conversely, these relations permit estimation of paleochannel gradient, meander wavelength, sinuosity, and discharge from the dimensions of the paleochannel as exposed in cross section.
The recognition of paleochannels within valley-fill or other complex fluvial deposits is a major problem, but criteria for the delineation of paleochannel cross-sectional shape and dimensions have been developed from studies of shapes and sediment characteristics of Australian paleochannels.
Figures & Tables
Recognition of Ancient Sedimentary Environments
This volume contains a series of papers presented as part of a symposium held in Dallas, Texas, April 1969, at the annual national meeting of the Society. The problem of recognizing ancient sedimentary environments in the stratigraphic record is basic to essentially every aspect of research in sedimentary rocks. The publication will summarize much of what we currently know concerning environmental interpretation.