The Critical Zone

Fluvial Processes and Landforms


Reading assignment

Complete the following reading assignments:

  1. The ubiquity of streams makes fluvial action probably the most important geomorphic agent. The following hyperlink gives a good general overview of fluvial landforms and processes, beginning with what should be a reminder to you about the hydrologic cycle and surface runoff. The Web site then provides a characterization of the parts and types of rivers, drainage patterns, fluvial processes of erosion, deposition, saltation, solution, and suspension, and erosional and depositional landforms.
  2. The next hyperlink overlaps somewhat with the first one you visited. While studying this site, do not concern yourself with mentions of specific drainage basins unless they are of interest to you. You can peruse the section on river types and drainage basin patterns for more detail than is available at the first site. Do read the short sections on structure and tectonics and paleochannels. It is old and the pdf is relatively poor quality but there is useful information here.
  3. Good images of stream channel types and features can be viewed by following this hyperlink:
Contact the instructor if you have difficulty viewing this image
Braided Healy Creek, central Alaska.
Credit: Tim White, 2003.
Contact the instructor if you have difficulty viewing this image
Meandering Belle Fourche River, northeastern Wyoming.
Credit: Tim White, 2005.