Environmental Geology lecture outline - Fluvial systems: floods and more.

Photograph from Mahoney State Park platform of Platte River in flood in 1992. About $10,000,000 of damage resulted. The normal Platte River channel is in the immediate foreground. The water that extends to the NE is on the flood plain. The position of I-80 is marked. I-80 was closed for a bit. Flooding was due to a snow melt when the ground was still frozen and ice dams on the river.

Globally floods are the number one natural hazard when it comes to lost lives and insurance payouts. This includes coastal floods.

Floods on Missouri River.

Some questions.

How do people use rivers and streams, and the fluvial system?

What factors influence fluvial behavior (including flood behavior)?

Can floods be predicted/forecast and how?

Can floods be prevented?

How do dams pertubate the fluvial system?

What policies should we have with regard to land use of river corridors when it comes to flooding?

River channel migration - another environmental concern.

Components and dynamics of meandering systems: flood plains, cut bank, point bar, natural levees, oxbow lakes, terraces and bluffs.

Rates of migration: how to measure and general values?

Dynamics and landforms of meandering systems in the lab.

Lake systems: stratification and overturning.

Suggested reading:

Criss, R. E. & Shock, E. L., 2001, Flood enhancement through flood control: Geology, v. 29, p. 875-878,

© Harmon D. Maher Jr.. This page may be used for non-profit educational purposes. For any other use please contact me.

Return to Environmental Geology course index.

Return to Harmon's home page.