Lane, S.N. (1995)
The dynamics of dynamic alluvial channels
- Cite key
- Research in fluvial geomorphology has undergone a rapid transformation over the last twenty years. There has been a shift in attention away from catchment and reach-scale generalisation of the relationship between surrogate process variables (such as discharge and channel form), to a smaller-scale and more intensive study of the relationship between physical processes and channel change (essentially a shift from a description to explanation). A review is provided of the results of this research in the context of dynamic braided alluvial channels, most notably those associated with glacierised catchments. Using a variety of laboratory and field methods it has been possible to describe a number of styles by which a channel may change. By monitoring river channel processes and channel form simultaneously, it becomes possible to understand, explain and perhaps even predict short-term river channel change. This shift in emphasis may be no more than a change in the temporal and spatial scales of consideration. As such, it is not incompatible with traditional research in fluvial geomorphology.