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Book Chapter

The riverscape

By
M. Gordon Wolman
M. Gordon Wolman
Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland 21218
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Michael Church
Michael Church
Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, 217, 1984 West Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1W5, Canada
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Robert Newbury
Robert Newbury
Box 1173, Gibsons, British Columbia VON IVO, Canada
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Michel Lapointe
Michel Lapointe
Department of Geography, Burnside Hall, McGill University, 805 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal Quebec H3A 2K6, Canada
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Marcel Frenette
Marcel Frenette
Faculte des Sciences et de Genie, Departement de genie civil, Universite Laval, Cite Universitaire, Quebec, G1K 7P4, Canada
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E. D. Andrews
E. D. Andrews
U.S. Geological Survey, MS 413, Box 25046, Denver Federal Center, Denver, Colorado 80225-0046
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Thomas E. Lisle
Thomas E. Lisle
Redwood Service Laboratory, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1700 Bayview Drive, Areata, California 95521
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John P. Buchanan
John P. Buchanan
Department of Geology, Eastern Washington University, Cheney, Washington 99004
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Stanley A. Schumm
Stanley A. Schumm
Department of Earth Resources, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523
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Brien R. Winkley
Brien R. Winkley
P.O. Box 543, Vicksburg, Mississippi 39108
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Published:
January 01, 1990

Abstract

A tenet of geomorphology and hydrology holds that rivers are ultimately the products of processes occurring on the landscape. Geology, topography, and climate reflected in rainfall, runoff, and vegetation determine the characteristics of the flow of water in the river channel as well as the quantities and characteristics of clastic and dissolved materials transported by rivers. Where river channels are unimpeded by bedrock and are truly alluvial—capable of adjusting to changes in flow and sediment input, and flowing within materials transported by the river itself—it has been demonstrated that rivers adjust to the flows of water and sediment derived from the watershed. At the same time, geologists recognize that many river reaches reflect history and local influences as well.

These essays on the riverscape attempt to capture these diverse hydrologic and other influences determining the look of a river at a given place. The riverscape here means the river itself and its immediate surroundings. The riverscapes described are ones for which good information is available. They demonstrate a variety of influences and conditions under which particular ones dominate the scene. Each, of course, could warrant a book, and these vignettes are not intended to be comprehensive, but rather illustrative. (The editors, not the authors, are responsible for the constrained space.) The rivers chosen have distinct qualities. The Nelson River, for example, is one of the large rivers of the world; it flows northward from proximate sources in Lake Winnipeg, but its sources are also in the Rocky Mountains, draining to the Saskatchewan River.

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Contents

DNAG, Geology of North America

Surface Water Hydrology

M. G. Wolman
M. G. Wolman
Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering The Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, Maryland 21218
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H. C. Riggs
H. C. Riggs
U.S. Geological Survey 415 National Center Reston, Virginia 22092
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Geological Society of America
Volume
O-1
ISBN electronic:
9780813754666
Publication date:
January 01, 1990

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