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Large Rivers

Geomorphology and Management

Gupta, Avijit (Editor)

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2. Edition April 2022
1040 Pages, Hardcover
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ISBN: 978-1-119-41260-1
John Wiley & Sons

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An updated treatment of management and geomorphology of large rivers around the world

The newly revised Second Edition of Large Rivers: Geomorphology and Management delivers a thoroughly updated exploration of the form and function of major rivers. The book brings together a set of papers on the large rivers of the world, offering readers an insightful examination of a demanding subject. The new Second Edition of the book includes fully updated and revised chapters, as well as two entirely new chapters on the Ayeyarwady and the Arctic rivers.

This fascinating volume describes the environmental requirements for creating and maintaining a major river system, case studies on over a dozen large rivers from different continents in a variety of physical environments, and the measurement and management of large rivers. Unmatched in scope, Large Rivers sheds light on a subject lacking in comprehensive study. Readers will benefit from the inclusion of:
* A thorough introduction to the geology of large river systems, hydrology and discharge, transcontinental moving and storage of sediment, and the greatest floods and largest rivers
* An exploration of the classification, architecture, and evolution of large-river deltas
* Discussions of sedimentology and stratigraphy of large river deposits, including their recognition in the ancient record and the distinction from incised valley fills
* An examination of the effects of tectonism, climate change, and sea-level change on the form and behavior of the modern Amazon river and its floodplain
* Measurement and management of large rivers
* The effect of climatic change on large rivers

Perfect for postgraduate students and researchers in fluvial geomorphology, hydrology, sedimentary geology, and river management, Large Rivers: Geomorphology and Management will also earn a place in the libraries of engineers and environmental consultants in the private and public sectors working on major rivers around the world.

About the Editor xxiii

List of Contributors xxv

Preface xxxiii

1 Introduction 1
Avijit Gupta

1.1 Large Rivers and People 1

1.2 What Is a Large River? 1

1.3 The Book and its Content 4

References 6

Part I Background

2 Geology of Large River Systems 7
Sampat K. Tandon and Rajiv Sinha

2.1 Introduction 7

2.2 Tectonic Settings of Large River Systems 9

2.3 Complexity of Drainage Types and Channel Morphology 12

2.4 Large Rivers - Climatic Settings and Climatic Variability 17

2.5 Modern Large Rivers - Hydrology and Sediment Dispersal 19

2.6 Landforms and Alluvial Architecture of Large River Systems 23

2.7 Growth and Development of Large River Systems 28

2.8 Duration of Large River Systems and the Rock Record 30

2.9 Sea Level, Tectonic, and Climatic Controls on the Large River Systems 31

2.10 Concluding Remarks 33

Acknowledgments 34

References 34

3 Hydrology and Discharge 42
Ellen Wohl and Katherine B. Lininger

3.1 Introduction 42

3.2 Large Rivers of the Equatorial Regions 51

3.3 Large Rivers of the Drylands 54

3.4 Rivers of the Mid-Latitudes 57

3.5 Rivers Draining South from the Himalaya 59

3.6 Rivers of East and Southeast Asia 61

3.7 High-Latitude Rivers 63

3.8 Conclusion 64

Acknowledgment 66

References 67

4 Transcontinental Moving and Storage: The Orinoco and Amazon Rivers Transfer the Andes to the Atlantic 76
Robert H. Meade

4.1 Introduction 76

4.2 Andean Sources and Alluvial Storage 76

4.3 Orinoco 78

4.4 Amazon 82

4.5 The Amazon Goes to Sea 92

4.6 Coda 94

Acknowledgements 94

References 95

5 Megafloods and Large Rivers 100
Victor R. Baker

5.1 Introduction 100

5.2 Historical Background 100

5.3 Terrestrial Glacial Megafloods 101

5.4 Extraterrestrial Megafloods and Megarivers 108

5.5 Conclusion 109

References 110

6 Classification, Architecture, and Evolution of Large River Deltas 114
Kazuaki Hori and Yoshiki Saito

6.1 Introduction 114

6.2 Definition of a Delta and Delta Components 116

6.3 Classification of Deltas 122

6.4 Morphology and Sediment 124

6.5 Delta Evolution 130

6.6 Problems of Sediment Supply 134

6.7 Concluding Remarks 135

Acknowledgements 136

References 136

7 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy of Large River Deposits: Recognition and Preservation Potential in the Rock Record 146
Christopher R. Fielding

7.1 Introduction 146

7.2 Geomorphology of Modern Big Rivers 150

7.3 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy of Modern Big Rivers 150

7.4 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy of Ancient Big Rivers 156

7.5 Discussion: Preservation Potential of Big River Deposits 159

7.6 Conclusion 160

Acknowledgments 161

References 161

Part II Case Studies

8 Effects of Tectonism and Sea-Level Change on the Form and Behaviour of the Modern Amazon River and Its Floodplain 171
Leal A.K. Mertes and Thomas Dunne

8.1 Background 171

8.2 Amazon Basin Characteristics 172

8.3 Tectonic Influences on the Modern Amazon 177

8.4 Structural Influences on Amazon River Geomorphology 183

8.5 Influences of Sea-Level Changes on the Amazon River and Floodplain 193

8.6 Conclusion 197

Acknowledgements 198

References 199

9 The Mississippi River System 205
James C. Knox

9.1 Introduction 205

9.2 Cenozoic Drainage Evolution 206

9.3 Influence of Quaternary Glaciations 209

9.4 Proglacial Lakes and Extreme Floods 211

9.5 Response of the Lower Mississippi Valley to Upper Valley Glaciation and Flooding 213

9.6 The Mississippi River System During the Holocene 215

9.7 Morphology of the Mississippi River 227

9.8 Modern Hydrology 233

9.9 The Mississippi River System: Summary and Outlook 242

Acknowledgements 244

References 245

10 The Colorado River 253
John C. Schmidt, Lindsey Bruckerhoff, Homa Salehabadi, and Jian Wang

10.1 Introduction 253

10.2 Physiography 255

10.3 Gradient, Valley Width, and Channel Form in the Colorado Plateau 257

10.4 Hydrology 260

10.5 The Colorado River in the Millennium Drought 265

10.6 Hydrology: Past and Future 281

10.7 Pre-dam and Post-dam Sediment Yield and Sediment Transport 285

10.8 Channel Adjustment and Ecological Change During the Twentieth Century 289

10.9 Modern Fish Community 299

10.10 Environmental Management of the Modern River 302

10.11 The Future 306

10.12 Conclusion 307

References 308

11 The Lena: A Large River in a Deep Permafrost Zone 320
Emmanuèle Gautier, François Costard, and Alexander Fedorov

11.1 Introduction 320

11.2 Description of the Lena Drainage Basin 321

11.3 A Periglacial Environment 323

11.4 Floodplain, Delta, and Periglacial Land Forms 323

11.5 Impact of Climatic Change on the Hydrosystem 330

11.6 Conclusion 331

References 332

12 The Danube: Morphology, Evolution, and Environmental Issues 335
Dénes Lóczy

12.1 Introduction 335

12.2 Water and Sediment 337

12.3 Headwaters of the Danube 339

12.4 Hydromorphology of the Danube Sections 341

12.5 The Danube Delta 345

12.6 The Evolution of the Valley of the Danube 347

12.7 Human Impacts 354

References 360

13 The Yukon and the Mackenzie: Large Arctic Rivers of North America 368
Ellen Wohl, Natalie Kramer, and Katherine B. Lininger

13.1 Introduction 368

13.2 Large Arctic Rivers of North America 369

13.3 The Yukon and the Mackenzie: A Study in Contrasts 374

13.4 The Future of Large Arctic Rivers in North America 378

13.5 Conclusion 381

References 381

14 The River Nile: Evolution and Environment 388
Jamie C. Woodward, Mark G. Macklin, Michael D. Krom, and Martin A.J. Williams

14.1 Introduction 388

14.2 Nile Basin River Environments 390

14.3 Early Origins and the Neogene Nile 391

14.4 The Late Pleistocene and Holocene Nile 394

14.5 Records of Nile River Behaviour in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea 402

14.6 The Modern Nile: Hydrology and Geomorphology 406

14.7 The Suspended Sediment Budget 415

14.8 The Nile Delta and The Eastern Mediterranean 417

14.9 River Basin Management and Global Change 421

Acknowledgements 425

References 425

15 The Congo River, Central Africa 433
Jürgen Runge

15.1 Introduction 433

15.2 The Course of the Congo River 434

15.3 Geology and Geomorphology of the Congo Basin 440

15.4 Evolution of the Congo River 444

15.5 The Flow Regime of the Congo 445

15.6 Solid, Suspended, and Dissolved Load 448

15.7 The Congo Mouth and the Submarine Canyon 449

15.8 The Congo River and Its Economic Importance 450

15.9 Conclusion 451

Acknowledgements 452

References 452

16 The Zambezi: Origins and Legacies of Earth's Oldest River System 457
Andy E. Moore, Fenton P.D. Cotterill, Mike P.L. Main, and Hugh B. Williams

16.1 Introduction 457

16.2 The Zambezi River System 459

16.3 Hydrology 464

16.4 Ecological Impact of Major Dams 467

16.5 Evolution of the Zambezi River System 469

16.6 Drainage Evolution and Speciation 478

16.7 Cultural and Economic Aspects 481

16.8 Conclusion 482

Acknowledgements 483

References 483

17 The Geographic, Geological, and Oceanographic Setting of the Indus River - An Update 488
Asif Inam, Peter D. Clift, Liviu Giosan, Anwar Alizai, Samina Kidwai, Muhammad I. Shahzad, Ibrahim Zia, Majid Nazeer, Muhammad J. Khan, Syed S. Ali, Aneela Shaheen, Rashida Qari, and Sanober Kehkashan

17.1 Introduction 488

17.2 The Drainage Basin 491

17.3 Evolution of the Indus River 492

17.4 Indus Water and Sediment Discharge 493

17.5 The Indus Delta 495

17.6 Submarine Indus System 499

17.7 Water Management 503

17.8 The Indus Dolphins 505

17.9 Environmental Changes 506

17.10 Conclusion 510

References 513

18 The Ganga River 521
Indra B. Singh

18.1 Introduction 521

18.2 Hydrology 522

18.3 Water Quality 526

18.4 Material Transfer in the Ganga 527

18.5 Mineralogy and Geochemistry of Sediments 530

18.6 Heavy Metals and Pollutants in the Sediment 531

18.7 The Plain and the River 531

18.8 The Delta 533

18.9 A Summary of Current Geomorphic Processes 538

18.10 Quaternary Evolution of the Ganga 538

18.11 Utilization of the River and Associated Problems 542

Acknowledgements 546

References 546

19 Erosion and Weathering in the Brahmaputra River System 551
Sunil K. Singh

19.1 Introduction 551

19.2 The Brahmaputra River System 552

19.3 Geology of the Basin 554

19.4 Hydrology 556

19.5 Floods in the Brahmaputra 557

19.6 Characteristics of the Brahmaputra Channel 562

19.7 Erosion and Weathering 562

19.8 Sediment Yield or Erosion Rates in the Various Zones 567

19.9 Chemical Weathering and Erosion 568

19.10 Bed Load and Weathering Intensity 572

19.11 Control of Physical and Chemical Erosion in the Brahmaputra Basin 572

19.12 Conclusion 574

References 574

20 The Jamuna-Brahmaputra River, Bangladesh 579
James L. Best, Philip J. Ashworth, Erik Mosselman, Maminul H. Sarker, and Julie E. Roden

20.1 Background 579

20.2 Channel Scale Morphology and Recent Historical Changes in the Course of the Brahmaputra-Jamuna River 588

20.3 Bedform Types and Dynamics 595

20.4 Bifurcations, Offtakes, and Confluences 603

20.5 Floodplain Sedimentation 607

20.6 Sedimentology of the Jamuna River 611

20.7 Applied Geomorphology and Engineering in the Jamuna River 617

20.8 Summary: What Does the Future Hold? 628

Acknowledgements 630

References 631

21 The Ayeyarwady River 641
Alexis Licht and Liviu Giosan

21.1 Introduction 641

21.2 The Ayeyarwady Drainage Basin 641

21.3 History of the Ayeyarwady 653

21.4 Looking Ahead 655

References 655

22 The Mekong River: Morphology, Evolution, and Management 661
Avijit Gupta

22.1 Introduction 661

22.2 The Mekong Basin: Physical Characteristics 663

22.3 The River 669

22.4 The Mekong Over Time: The Geomorphic History 676

22.5 Erosion and Sediment Transfer 678

22.6 The Mekong and Its Basin: Resource and Management 679

22.7 Conclusion 684

Acknowledgements 684

References 684

23 Dynamic Hydrology and Geomorphology of the Yangtze River 687
Zhongyuan Chen, Kaiqin Xu, and Masataka Watanabe

23.1 Basin Geology and Landforms 687

23.2 River Morphology 689

23.3 Storage and Transfer of Water and Sediment 691

23.4 Large-Scale River Management - Three Gorges Damand the Planned Water Transfer 700

Acknowledgements 702

References 702

Part III Measurement and Management

24 The Nile River: Geology, Hydrology, Hydraulic Society 704
M. Gordon Wolman, Capucine Le Meur, and Robert F. Giegengack

24.1 Introduction 704

24.2 Physiography 705

24.3 Geologic History 709

24.4 Climate and Climate Change 712

24.5 Hydrology 715

24.6 A Unique Record 719

24.7 The Nile and Hydraulic Civilizations 721

24.8 A Recent History of Nile Water Management 725

Acknowledgements 732

References 732

25 Patterns and Controls on Historical Channel Change in the Willamette River, Oregon USA 737
Jennifer R. Wallick, Gordon Grant, Stephen Lancaster, John P. Bolte, and Roger Denlinger

25.1 Introduction 737

25.2 An Approach for Interpreting Multiple Impacts on Large Rivers 739

25.3 Geologic Setting, Human, and Flood History of the Willamette 742

25.4 Data and Methods for Measuring Historical Channel Change 750

25.5 Results: Patterns and Controls on Historical Channel Changes 753

25.6 Discussion, Narrative of Historical Channel Change 759

25.7 Conclusion 770

Acknowledgements 771

References 771

26 Rivers and Humans - Unintended Consequences 776
Stanley A. Schumm

26.1 Introduction 776

26.2 Armour 776

26.3 Hydrology 783

26.4 Conclusion 793

References 793

27 Large Rivers from Space 796
Leal A. K. Mertes and Tamuka Magadzire

27.1 Introduction and Update 796

27.2 Basin Characteristics 799

27.3 Valley Configuration 801

27.4 Geomorphology 804

27.5 Water-surface Elevation, Gradient, and Discharge 804

27.6 Water Extent and Inundation Mapping 804

27.7 Mapping Sediment Concentration 808

27.8 Zambezi River -Water Type Mapping on Floodplains 809

27.9 Thermal Properties 811

27.10 Change Detection 811

27.10.1 Mesopotamian Marshlands 811

References 814

28 Channel Geometry Analysis Technique for the Lower Mississippi River 818
Philip J. Soar, Colin R. Thorne, Oliver P. Harmar, David S. Biedenharn, and C. Fred Pinkard

28.1 Introduction 818

28.2 Context 819

28.3 Data Acquisition and Pre-processing 822

28.4 Analytical Approach and Methodology 827

28.5 Results 830

28.6 Interpretation and Commentary 830

28.7 Conclusion 835

Acknowledgements 836

References 837

29 The Management of Large Rivers: Technical and Political Challenges 838
Ian C. Campbell

29.1 Introduction 838

29.2 The Challenges of River Management 842

29.3 Management of Rivers in Developing Countries 852

29.4 Conclusion 855

References 856

30 The Physical Diversity and Assessment of a Large River System: The Murray-Darling Basin, Australia 861
Martin Thoms, Scott Rayburg, Mel Neave, Melissa Parsons, and Francis Chiew

30.1 Introduction 861

30.2 The Murray-Darling Basin 864

30.3 The Character of Rivers within the Murray-Darling Basin 869

30.4 Assessment of the Physical Condition of Rivers in the Murray-Darling Basin 874

30.5 Resilience and Large Rivers as Social-Ecological Systems - Future Directions 883

30.6 Conclusion 885

Acknowledgements 887

References 887

31 Spatial and Temporal Variations of Water and Sediment Discharges of the Yangtze River (Changjiang) from 1950 to 2018: Erosion of Lake, Channel, and Delta 891
Kehui Xu, Shilun Yang, John D. Milliman, Zuosheng Yang, Haifei Yang, and Hui Xu

31.1 Introduction 891

31.2 Physical Setting 893

31.3 Data and Methods of Study 893

31.4 Spatial Variations of Water and Sediment 894

31.5 Temporal Variations of Water and Sediment 895

31.6 Discussion 900

31.7 Channel and Coastal Responses to Declining Sediment Discharge 905

31.8 Future Water and Sediment Discharges 906

31.9 Climatic and Anthropogenic Impacts on Other Global Rivers - the Mississippi Example 907

Acknowledgements 910

References 911

32 Large River Systems and Climate Change 916
Michael D. Blum

32.1 Introduction 916

32.2 A Brief History of Ideas 916

32.3 Fluvial Response to Climate Change: Some General Concepts 921

32.4 Fluvial Response to Past Climate Change: Contrasting Examples 932

32.5 Epilog: Large Rivers and Climate Change, Past to Future 946

References 951

Index 959
Avijit Gupta is Honorary Principal Fellow in the School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences at the University of Wollongong in Australia.

A. Gupta, University of Wollongong, Australia