Cross-section, bedform and bar unit asymmetry in river channel networks: an investigation into morphological complexity and diversity at multiple spatial scales

Thornton, E, Neave, M and Rayburg, S 2008, 'Cross-section, bedform and bar unit asymmetry in river channel networks: an investigation into morphological complexity and diversity at multiple spatial scales', in Proceedings of Water Down Under 2008, Adelaide, South Australia, 14-17 April 2008, pp. 2508-2518.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

Title Cross-section, bedform and bar unit asymmetry in river channel networks: an investigation into morphological complexity and diversity at multiple spatial scales
Author(s) Thornton, E
Neave, M
Rayburg, S
Year 2008
Conference name Proceedings of Water Down Under 2008
Conference location Adelaide, South Australia
Conference dates 14-17 April 2008
Proceedings title Proceedings of Water Down Under 2008
Publisher Engineers Australia; Causal Productions
Place of publication Australia
Start page 2508
End page 2518
Total pages 11
Abstract Complexity and diversity are typically assessed by determining the variety of geomorphic structures within a river (e.g., benches, bars, islands, riffles, etc.) or its external variability. An alternative approach is to examine the variety of forms within a specific geomorphic structure (e.g., the variety of riffle morphologies along a river) or its internal variability. Although both of these approaches have merit, in systems containing only a small number of unique geomorphic structures, considering external variability alone may underestimate morphologic diversity and complexity. One way to assess internal variability is through the use of asymmetry. Asymmetry is a measure of how unbalanced a feature is (in terms of either its form or process) and in geomorphic terms, implies a tendency towards irregularity and complexity. This investigation determined the internal variability and thus geomorphic complexity and diversity as a function of increasing channel dimension (progressing from lower order through to higher order streams) in an upland river network. This was achieved by assessing the internal variability of pool-riffle sequences (bar units) and their constituent components (e.g. pools and riffles) using a set of asymmetry indices. The results of this study show that asymmetry does not vary with scale and that the morphologic diversity of bed forms and bar units is also scale independent.
Subjects Environmental Science and Management not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Geomorphic structure
morphologic diversity
asymmetry
river channel networks
spatial scale
Copyright notice © Engineers Australia
ISBN 0858257351
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