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Book Chapter

Meandering Streams – Modern and Ancient

By
William E. Galloway
William E. Galloway
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Published:
January 01, 1985

Abstract

A fluvial system consists of a skeleton of fluvial channel-fill facies and closely associated splay and levee facies within a matrix of floodbasin muds and organics (Fig. G-9). Fluvial systems display a wide range of variation in such basic parameters as average proportion of sand to mud and dimensions and geometry of sand bodies. Consequent-ly, they also vary in their capacity to transmit fluids. Further, within a fluvial system, systematic variations in these same parameters are observed to be both parallel and transverse to the sediment disper-sal axis.

Large fluvial complexes tend to produce integrated drainage net-works containing one or more trunk streams of the same type (i.e., meandering, braided, etc.) for large parts of the network. Deposi-tional characteristics of these trunk streams provide a logical basis for differentiating significantly different portions of a fluvial sys-tem. In a series of papers, Schumm (1960, 1972) has described rela-tionships in modern streams among sediment load transported by the channel, channel geometry, and sediment type deposited by the channel. These relationships can be quantified for modern river segments (Table G-3) and provide qualitative trends that can be applied in interpretation and classification of ancient fluvial depositional sys-tems.

The basis of SchuITn's classification lies in the empirical obser-vation of a fundamental correlation between the ratio of bed load to suspended load transported by a stream and the cross-sectional geometry of the channel (expressed as width/depth ratio). This relationship is independent of other variables, such as slope, discharge, or periodici-ty of flow. Thus, alluvial channels

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Contents

SEPM Short Course Notes

Recognition of Fluvial Depositional Systems and their Resource Potential

Romeo M. Flores
Romeo M. Flores
U.S.G.S., Denver
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Frank G. Ethridge
Frank G. Ethridge
Colo. State Univ., Fort Collins
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Andrew D. Miall
Andrew D. Miall
Univ. of Toronto, Toronto
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William E. Galloway
William E. Galloway
Bur. of Econ. Geol., Univ. of Texas, Austin
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Thomas D. Fouch
Thomas D. Fouch
U.S.G.S., Denver
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SEPM Society for Sedimentary Geology
Volume
19
ISBN electronic:
9781565762480
Publication date:
January 01, 1985

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