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We have so far discussed different kinds of flow and stratification, and have considered how sedimentary structures can be used to define facies and facies sequences. Our first application of these ideas will be to fluvial systems, because, of all the natural environments, rivers most closely approach the simplest flow conditions discussed in Chapter 2. It is hardly necessary to point out that rivers are very much more complex than flumes, with complicated short and long term changes in discharge and velocity and shifts in channel position and base level that affect aggradation and preservation of sedimentary structures. However, the ideas of the earlier chapters can be applied to fluvial systems in their simplest form.

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