Advertisement

Natural Hazards

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 65–84 | Cite as

Geomorphic Effects of Monsoon Floods on Indian Rivers

  • Vishwas S. Kale
Article

Abstract

The southwest summer monsoon contributesthe bulk of India's rainfall. Consequently,almost all the geomorphic work by the rivers is carried out during the monsoonseason in general and the monsoon floods in particular. Indian rivers arecharacterized by high average flood discharges and large temporal variability. Thereis also significant spatial variation in the magnitude, frequency and power of floods, on account of regional variations in monsoon rainfall, basin characteristics andchannel geometry. As a result, the channel responses and the geomorphic effects also varyspatially. This paper describes the hydrological and geomorphological aspects, as well asthe geomorphic effects of monsoon floods in the Indian rivers. The geomorphic effects of floods are most impressive only in certainareas – the Himalaya, the Thar Desert, and the Indus-Ganga-Brahmaputra Plains. There are numerous instances of flood-induced changes in the channel dimension,position and pattern in these areas. In the Ganga-Brahmaputra Plains, the annualfloods appear to be geomorphologically more effective than the occasional large floods.In comparison, the rivers of the Indian Peninsula are, by and large, stable and thegeomorphic effects of floods are modest. Only large-magnitude floods that occur at aninterval of several years to decades are competent to modify the channel morphology in asignificant way. A synthesis of the various case studies available from the Indianregion indicates that often the absolute magnitude of a flood is not as important withrespect to the geomorphic effects as the flow stress and competence.

Monsoon floods geomorphic effects channel changes India 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Abbas, N. and Subramaninan, V.: 1984, Erosional and sediment transport in the Ganges River Basin (India), J. Hydrol. 69, 173–182.Google Scholar
  2. Asthana, B. N. and Bhargava, A. N.: 1981, Dominant discharge for alluvial rivers, Irr. Power Jour. 38, 65–68.Google Scholar
  3. Baker, V. R.: 1977, Stream channel response to floods with examples from central Texas, Geol. Soc. Am. Bull. 88, 1057–1070.Google Scholar
  4. Baker, V. R. and Costa, J. E.: 1987, Flood power, In: L. Mayer and D. Nash (eds), Catastrophic Flooding, Allen and Unwin, London, pp. 1–21.Google Scholar
  5. Baker, V. R. and Kale, V. S.: 1998, The role of extreme floods in shaping bedrock channels, In: K. J. Tinkler and E. Wolh (eds), Rivers over Rock: Fluvial Processes in Bedrock Channels, American Geophysical Union Monograph, Vol. 107, pp. 153–165.Google Scholar
  6. Basu, S. R., Sen, A., and Gosh, A.: 1996, A study on the morphological and hydrological changes of the Hugli River during 1973-1993', Nat. Geog. 31, 57–68.Google Scholar
  7. Bikshamaiah, G. and Subramanian, V.: 1980, Chemical and sediment mass transfer in the Godavari River Basin in India, J. Hydrol. 46, 331–342.Google Scholar
  8. Chakrapani, G. J. and Subramanian, V.: 1990, Factors controlling sediment discharge in the Mahanadi river basin, India, J. Hydrol. 117, 169–185.Google Scholar
  9. Coleman, J. M.: 1969, Brahmaputra River. Channel processes and sedimentation, Sed. Geol. 8, 129–239.Google Scholar
  10. Deodhar, L. A. and Kale, V. S.: 1999, Downstream adjustments in allochthonous rivers: Western Deccan Trap upland region, India, In A. J. Miller and A. Gupta (eds), Varieties of Fluvial Form, John Wiley and Sons, New York, pp. 295–315.Google Scholar
  11. Dhar, O. N. and Nandargi, S. S.: 1993, The zones of severe rainstorm activity over India, Int. J. Climatol. 13, 301–311.Google Scholar
  12. Dhar, O. N. and Nandargi, S. S.: 1998, Floods in Indian rivers and their meteorological aspects, In: V. S. Kale (ed), Flood Studies in India, Geological Society of India, Bangalore, India, Memoir, Vol. 41, pp. 1–25.Google Scholar
  13. Dhir, R. P., Kolarkar, A. S., Sharma, K. D., Vangani, N. S., Saxena, S.K, Sen, A.K., Ramakrishna, Y. S., Murthy, K. N. K., Singh, N., and Tak, B. L.: 1982, July 1979 Flash flood in the Luni. Jodhpur: Central Arid Zone Research Institute. Technical Bulletin No. 6.Google Scholar
  14. Garde, R. J. and Kothyari, U. C.: 1990, Flood estimation in Indian catchments, J. Hydrol. 113, 135–146.Google Scholar
  15. Godbole, M. L.: 1986, Training of Ganga river from Mokamesh to Mansi, In: Proceedings of the Seminar on Morphology of Ganga River, Ganga Flood Control Commission, New Delhi, pp. 73–90.Google Scholar
  16. Gole, C. V. and Chitale, S. V.: 1966, Inland delta-building activity of the Kosi River, J. Hydra. Div. Am. Soc. Civ. Eng. HY2, 92, 111–126.Google Scholar
  17. Goswami, D. C.: 1985, Brahmaputra River, Assam, India: Physiography, basin denudation, and channel aggradation, Water Resourc. Res. 21, 959–978.Google Scholar
  18. Goswami, D. C.: 1988, Magnitude and frequency of fluvial processes in the Brahmaputra Basin, Assam: Some observations, In: S. Singh and R. C. Tiwari (eds), Geomorphology and Environment, The Allahabad Geographical Society, Allahabad, India, pp. 203–211.Google Scholar
  19. Goswami, D. C.: 1998, Fluvial regime and flood hydrology of the Brahmaputra River, Assam, In: V. S. Kale (ed), Flood Studies in India, Geological Society of India, Bangalore, India, Memoir, Vol. 41, pp. 53–76.Google Scholar
  20. Goswami, U., Sarma, J. N., and Patgiri, A. D.: 1999, River channel changes of the Subansiri in Assam, India, Geomorphology 30, 227–244.Google Scholar
  21. Gupta, A.: 1988, Large floods as geomorphic events in the humid tropics, In: V. R. Baker, R. C. Kochel, and P. C. Patton (eds), Flood Geomorphology, Wiley, New York, pp. 151–177.Google Scholar
  22. Gupta, A.: 1995, Magnitude, frequency, and special factors affecting channel form and processes in the seasonal tropics, In: J. E. Costa, A. J. Miller, K. W. Potter, and P. R. Wilcock (eds), Natural and Anthropogenic Influences in Fluvial Geomorphology, American Geophysical Union, Geophysical Monograph, Vol. 89, pp. 125–136.Google Scholar
  23. Gupta, A.: 1998, Geomorphological effects of floods on Indian rivers, In: V. S. Kale (ed.), Flood Studies in India, Geological Society of India, Bangalore, India, Memoir, Vol. 41, 143–153.Google Scholar
  24. Gupta, A. and Dutt, A.: 1989, The Auranga: Description of a tropical monsoon river, Z. Geomorph. NF 33, 73–92.Google Scholar
  25. Gupta, A., Kale, V. S., and Rajaguru, S. N.: 1999, The Narmada River, India, through space and time, In: A. J. Miller and A. Gupta (eds), Varieties of Fluvial Form, New York: John Wiley and Sons, pp. 113–143.Google Scholar
  26. Hewitt, K.: 1998, Catastrophic landslides and their effects on the upper Indus streams, Karakoram Himalaya, northern Pakistan, Geomorphology 26, 47–80.Google Scholar
  27. Hire, P. S.: 2000, Geomorphic and hydrologic studies of floods in the Tapi Basin, Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis submitted to University of Pune, Pune, India.Google Scholar
  28. Kale, V. S.: 1990, Morphological and hydrological characteristics of some allochthonous river channels, western Deccan Trap upland region, India, Geomorphology 3, 31–43.Google Scholar
  29. Kale, V. S.: 1998, Monsoon floods in India: A hydro-geomorphic perspective, In: V. S. Kale (ed), Flood Studies in India, Geological Society of India, Bangalore, India, Memoir, Vol. 41, pp. 229–256.Google Scholar
  30. Kale, V. S.: 1999, Long-period fluctuations in monsoon floods in the Deccan Peninsular, India, J. Geol. Soc. Ind. 53, 5–15.Google Scholar
  31. Kale, V. S. and Gadgil, A.: 1997, Evaluation of the flood hydrology in the Upper Tapi Basin, Department of Science and Technology, Report.Google Scholar
  32. Kale, V. S. and Gupta, A.: 2001, Introduction to Geomorphology, Orient Longman, Calcutta, 106 pp.Google Scholar
  33. Kale, V. S., Ely, L. L., Enzel, Y. and Baker, V. R.: 1994, Geomorphic and hydrologic aspects of monsoon floods on the Narmada and Tapi Rivers in central India, Geomorphology 10, 157–168.Google Scholar
  34. Kale, V. S., Hire, P., and Baker, V. R.: 1997, Flood hydrology and geomorphology of monsoon dominated rivers: The Indian Peninsula. Water Inter. 22, 259–265.Google Scholar
  35. Kochel, R. C.: 1988, Geomorphic impact of large floods: Review and new perspectives on magnitude and frequency, In: V. R. Baker, R. C. Kochel, and P. C. Patton (eds), Flood Geomorphology, John Wiley and Sons, New York, pp. 169–187.Google Scholar
  36. Komar, P. D.: 1988, Sediment transport by floods, In: V. R. Baker, R. C., and P. C. Patton (eds), Flood Geomorphology, John Wiley and Sons New York. pp. 97–112.Google Scholar
  37. Mujumdar, G. G., Rajaguru, S. N., and Papu, R. S.: 1970, The recent Godavari Flood (September 1969) and its relevance to prehistoric archeology, Bull. Deccan College Res. Inst. 24, 1–17.Google Scholar
  38. Paul, S. K., Bartarya, S. K., Rautela, P., and Mahajan, A. K.: 2000, Catastrophic mass movement of 1998 monsoons at Malpa in Kali Valley, Kumaun Himalaya, India, Geomorphology 35, 169–180.Google Scholar
  39. Rajaguru, S. N., Gupta, A., Kale, V. S., Mishra, S., Ganjoo, R. K., Ely, L. L., Enzel, Y., and Baker, V. R.: 1995, Channel form and processes of the flood-dominated Narmada River, India, Earth Surf. Proc. Landform 20, 407–421.Google Scholar
  40. Rakhecha, P. R. and Pisharoty, P. R.: 1996, Heavy rainfall during monsoon season: Point and spatial distribution, Cur. Sci. 71, 179–186.Google Scholar
  41. Ramaswamy, C.: 1987, Meteorological Aspects of Severe Floods in India 1923–1979, MMH No. 10, India Meteorological Department, New Delhi.Google Scholar
  42. Ramesh, R. and Subramanian, V.: 1988, Temporal, spatial and size variation in the sediment transport in the Krishna River Basin, India, J. Hydrol. 98, 53–65.Google Scholar
  43. Richards, K. S.: 1999, The magnitude-frequency concept in fluvial geomorphology: A component of a degenerating research programme?, Z. Geomorph. SB 115, 1–18.Google Scholar
  44. Richardson, W. R. and Thorne, C. R.: 2001, Multiple thread flow and channel bifurcation in a braided river: Brahmaputra-Jamuna River, Bangladesh, Geomorphology 38, 185–196.Google Scholar
  45. Sah, M. P. and Mazari, R. K.: 1998, Anthropogenically accelerated mass movement, Kulu Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India, Geomorphology 26, 123–138.Google Scholar
  46. Sakthivadivel, R. and Raghupathy, A.: 1978, Frequency analysis of floods in some Indian Rivers, Hydro. Rev. 4, 57–67.Google Scholar
  47. Sarma J. N. and Basumallick, S.: 1984, Bankline migration of the Burhi Dihing River, Assam, Ind. J. Earth Sci. 11, 199–206.Google Scholar
  48. Sarma J. N. and Basumallick, S.: 1986, Channel form and process of the Burhi Dihing River, India, Geograf. Ann. 68A, 373–381.Google Scholar
  49. Sarma, J. N.: 1986, Sediment transport in the Burhi Dihing River, India, In R. F. Hadley (ed), Drainage Basin Sediment Delivery, IAHS Publication No. 159, pp. 199–215.Google Scholar
  50. Sharma, K. D. and Vangani, N. S.: 1992, Characteristics of a flash flood in the Luni Basin, northwestern India, Irr. Power Jour. 49, 31–41.Google Scholar
  51. Sharma, K. D., Vangani, N. S., Chatterji, P. C., and Singh, G.: 1982, A severe flood in Luni Basin, western Rajasthan during July 1979 – A case study, Mausum 33, 377–384.Google Scholar
  52. Shroder, J. F.: 1998, Slope failure and denudation in the western Himalaya, Geomorphology 26, 81–105.Google Scholar
  53. Singh, I. B.: 1996, Geological Evolution of Ganga Plain – An overview, J. Palaeonto. Soc. Ind. 41, 99–137.Google Scholar
  54. Sinha, R.: 1996, Channel avulsion and floodplain structure in the Gandak-Kosi interfan, north Bihar plains, India, Z. Geomorph. 103, 249–268.Google Scholar
  55. Sinha, R. and Friend, P. F.: 1994, River systems and their sediment flux, Indo-Gangetic plains, Northern Bihar, India, Sedimentology 41, 825–845.Google Scholar
  56. Starkel, L.: 1972, The role of catastrophic rainfall in the shaping of the relief of the lower Himalaya (Darjeeling Hills), Geog. Polon. 21, 103–160.Google Scholar
  57. Starkel, L., Froehlich, W., and Soja, R.: 1998, Floods in Sikkim Himalaya – Their Causes, Curse and Effects, In: V. S. Kale (ed), Flood Studies in India, Geological Society of India, Bangalore, India, Memoir, Vol. 41, pp. 101–118.Google Scholar
  58. Thatte, C. D., Rao, B. K., and More, D. K.: 1986, An approach to assess rate of bed load in large cobbly rivers. A case study of Narmada River, In: Proceedings of the 53rd Research and Development Session, Central Board of Irrigation and Power, New Delhi, India, pp. 237–251.Google Scholar
  59. Wells, N. A. and Dorr, J. A.: 1987, Shifting of the Kosi River, northern India, Geology 15, 204–207.Google Scholar
  60. Williams, G. P.: 1983, Paleohydrological methods and some examples from Swedish fluvial environments. I. Cobble and boulder deposits, Geograf. Ann. 65A, 227–243.Google Scholar
  61. Wohl, E. E. and Cenderelli, D.: 1998, Flooding in the HimalayaMountains, In: V. S. Kale (ed.), Flood Studies in India, Geological Society of India, Bangalore, India, Memoir, Vol. 41, pp. 77–99.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vishwas S. Kale
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of GeographyUniversity of PunePuneIndia E-mail

Personalised recommendations