Advertisement

Rivers-Structure and Functions

  • D. PadmalalEmail author
  • K. Maya
Chapter
Part of the Environmental Science and Engineering book series (ESE)

Abstract

Rivers are the corridors connecting the terrestrial environment to the ocean realm. They play an important role in the sustenance of life systems of nature. As a geological agent, rivers carve out distinct suite of geomorphic features on the surface of the Earth. But human interventions consequent to economic developments in the past few decades have imposed tremendous pressure on rivers. As a result, most of the rivers in the world, especially the small rivers, have been altered to levels, often beyond their natural resilience capability. The present chapter gives a brief presentation of the river environment with special reference to its ecological and geological functions. River sediment characteristics, channel processes, classifications of rivers, and some of the classic concepts in riverine studies are also given in the chapter.

Keywords

River ecosystem Geological work of rivers River sediments Concepts in riverine studies 

References

  1. Blatt H, Middleton GV, Murray RC (1972) Origin of sedimentary rocks. Prentice Hall, New Jersey, p 634Google Scholar
  2. Collins B, Dunne T (1989) Gravel transport, gravel harvesting, and channel-bed degradation in rivers draining the Southern Olympic Mountains, Washington, USA. Environ Geol Water Sci 13:213–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Culbertson DM, Young LE, Brice JC (1967) Scour and fill in alluvial channels. U.S. Geological Survey, Open File Report, p 58Google Scholar
  4. Davis WM (1899) The geographical cycle. Geogr J 14:481–504CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Elliot JG, Parker RS (1997) Altered stream flow and sediment entrainment in the Gunnison gorge. J Amer Water Resour Assoc 33:1041–1054CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Elwood JW, Newbold JD, Neill ORV, Winkle WV (1983) Resource spiraling: an operational paradigm for analysing lotic ecosystems. In: Fontaine TD, Bartell SM (eds) Dynamics of lotic ecosystems. Ann Arbor Science, Michigan, pp 3–27Google Scholar
  7. FAO (1998) Rehabilitation of rivers for fish, food and agriculture. United Nations Organization, p 260Google Scholar
  8. Furch K, Junk WJ (1997) Floodplain: ecology of a pulsing system. Springer, Berlin, p 126Google Scholar
  9. Galay VJ, Kellerhals R, Bray DI (1973) Diversity of river types in Canada. In: Proceedings of hydrology symposium, fluvial process and sedimentation, National Research Council of Canada, pp 217–250Google Scholar
  10. Garde RJ, Ranga Raju KG (1985) Mechanics of sediment transportation and alluvial stream problems, 2nd edn. Halsted Press, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  11. Griffiths GA, Mcsaveney MJ (1983) Hydrology of a basin with extreme rainfalls—cropp river, New Zealand. NZ J Sci 26:293–306Google Scholar
  12. Hadley RF, Emmett WW (1998) Channel changes downstream from a dam. J Amer Water Resour Assoc 34:629–637CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Haslam SM (1990) River pollution: an ecological perspective. John Wiley and Sons, Chichester, p 253Google Scholar
  14. Hawkins CP, Kershner JL, Bisson PA, Brgant MD, Decker LM, Gregory SV (1993) A hierarchial approach to classifying stream habitat features. Fisheries 18:3–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Heede BH (1986) Designing for dynamic equilibrium in streams. Water Resour Bull 22:351–357CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Huet M (1954) Biologie, profiles en long et en travers des eaux courantes. Bulletin Francais de la peche et de la Pisciculture 175:41–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ittekkot V, Lanne RWPM (1991) Fate of riverine particulate organic matter. In: Degens ET, Kempe S, Richey JE (eds) Biogeochemistry of major world rivers. John Wiley and Sons, New York, pp 233–243Google Scholar
  18. Jeffries M, Mills D (1990) Freshwater ecology: principles and applications. John Wiley and Sons, Chichester, p 252Google Scholar
  19. Junk W, Bayley PB, Sparks RE (1989) The flood-pulse concept in river floodplain systems. Can Spec Publ Fish Aquat Sci 106:110–127Google Scholar
  20. Kitetu J, Rowan J (1997) Integrated environmental assessment applied to river sand harvesting in Kenya. In: Patric CK, Lee N (eds) Sustainable development in a developing world—integrated socio-economic appraisal and environmental assessment. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham, pp 189–199Google Scholar
  21. Kondolf GM (1997) Hungry water: effects of dams and gravel mining on river channels. Environ Manage 21:533–551CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lal D (1977) The oceanic microcosm of particles. Science 198:997–1009CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lane EW (1947) Report of the subcommittee on sediment terminology. Trans AGU 28:125Google Scholar
  24. Leopold LB, Wolman MG, Miller JP (1964) Fluvial processes in geomorphology. WH Freeman, San Francisco, p 522Google Scholar
  25. Macfarlane M, Mitchel P (2003) Scoping and assessment of the environmental and social impacts of river mining in Jamaica. Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, p 86Google Scholar
  26. Matthes G (1956) River engineering. In: Abbott PO (ed) American civil engineering practice, John Wiley and Sons, New York, pp 15–56Google Scholar
  27. Melton RD (1957) Geometric properties of nature drainage system and their representation in E4 phase. J Geol 44:341–352Google Scholar
  28. Milliman JD, Meade RH (1983) World-wide delivery of river sediment to the oceans. J Geol 91:1–21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Milliman JD, Syvitski JPM (1992) Geomorphic/tectonic control of sediment discharge to the ocean: the importance of small mountainous river. J Geol 100:525–544CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mollard JD (1973) Air photo interpretation of fluvial features. In: Fluvial processes and sedimentation, Research Council of Canada, Ottawa, pp 341–380Google Scholar
  31. Naiman RJ (1992) Watershed management. Springer, New York, p 560CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Naiman RJ, Bilby RE (1998). River ecology and management in the Pacific coastal ecoregion. In: Naiman RJ, Bilby RE (eds) River ecology and management: lessons from the Pacific Coastal Ecoregion, Springer, New York, p 1–22Google Scholar
  33. Naiman RJ, Magnuson JJ, Mc Knight DM, Stanford JA (1995) The fresh water imperative. Island Press, Washington DC, USA, p 165Google Scholar
  34. Nanson GC, Croke JC (1992) A genetic classification of floodplains. In: Brakenridge GR, Hagedorn J (eds) Floodplain evolution, geomorphology, p 459–486Google Scholar
  35. Newbold JD, Elwood JW, O’Neill RV, VanWinkle W (1981) Measuring nutrient spiraling in streams. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 38:860–863CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Newbold JD, Mulholland PJ, Elwood JW, O’Neill RV (1982a) Organic carbon spiraling in stream ecosystems. Oikos 38:266–272CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Newbold JD, O’Neill RV, Elwood JW, VanWinkle W (1982b) Nutrient spiraling in streams: implications for nutrient limitation and invertebrate activity. Am Nat 120:628–652CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Petts GE, Calow P (1996) River restoration. Blackwell Science Ltd., Oxford, p 270Google Scholar
  39. Schumm SA (1977) The fluvial system. John Wiley and Sons, New York, p 338Google Scholar
  40. Sioli H (1950) Das Wasser im Amazonasgebiet. Forsch Fortschr 26:274–280Google Scholar
  41. Thornbury WD (1969) Principles of geomorphology. John Wiley and Sons, New York, p 618Google Scholar
  42. Vannote RL, Minshall GW, Cummins KW, Sedell JR, Cushing CE (1980) The river continuum concept. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 37:130–137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Wallace JB, Webster JR, Woodall WR (1977) The role of filter feeders in flowing waters. Archi fuer Hydrobiologie 79:506–532Google Scholar
  44. Webster JR (1975) Analysis of potassium and calcium dynamics in stream ecosystems on three southern Appalachian watersheds of contrasting vegetation. Ph.D Thesis (Unpublished), University of Georgia, Athens, U.S.AGoogle Scholar
  45. Webster JR, Patten BC (1979) Effects of watershed perturbation on potassium and calcium dynamics. Ecol Monogr 49:51–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Whiting PJ (1998) Floodplain maintenance flows. Rivers 6:160–170Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Earth Science StudiesThiruvananthapuramIndia

Personalised recommendations