Morphotectonic analysis of alluvial fan dynamics: comparative study in spatio-temporal scale of Himalayan foothill, India

  • Suman Ayaz
  • Mery Biswas
  • Md Kutubuddin Dhali
Original Paper


Alluvial fan is a depositional fluvial landform that is characterised by sediment flow and hydrological processes and is also controlled by tectonic activity. These extraordinary features have always attracted researchers since the past as they preserve the past records, but now, this study is focused on the formation meso-level fans with its spatio-temporal dynamic nature. These tributaries have formed secondary alluvial fans at their debouching points. The dynamics of the fans are controlled by the hydrological responses and tectonic base and also by the sedimentation processes. The origin of these tributaries and their respective fans are related to the last stage of Himalayan uplift. This is the region of Himalayan foreland basin which contains the main frontal thrust and makes the region tectonically very active. The region is drained by many large rivers and their numerous tributaries. The active tectonism, the configuration of the basin and also the deposition of the sediments carried by these rivers have formed alluvial fans where the channel debouches into the widened valley. In the present study, the meso-level alluvial fans formed by River Gish and the Rivers Neora and Murti have been studied. Both these fans are present in the piedmont region of the Himalayas, but they deliver different characteristics, and the nature of their deposition is also different. This is mainly because of the influence of the minor faults in the region which control the channel pattern and also have a great influence in the sediment delivery to the downstream section of the channels. Thus, in order to understand the influence of tectonics in the dynamics of these fans, some morphotectonic parameters have been taken into consideration. These include mountain front sinuosity index, valley floor width-to-depth ratio, and tectonic tilt. The calculated hypsometric integral also depicts that the two fans are at different stages of development.


Tectonic control Morphology Alluvial fan 



We are thankful to the editor-in-chief, Abdullah M. Al-Amri, of Arabian Journal of Geosciences and the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments for the substantial improvement of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyPresidency UniversityKolkataIndia
  2. 2.Department of GeographyVisva-Bharati (A Central University)BolpurIndia

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