The Dynamic Kosi River and Its Tributaries

  • Vikrant Jain
  • Rakesh Kumar
  • Rahul Kumar Kaushal
  • Tanushri Gautam
  • S. K. Singh
Part of the Springer Hydrogeology book series (SPRINGERHYDRO)


The Kosi River is known as one of the most dynamic river systems. Even smaller interfan rivers joining the Kosi River at downstream reaches are also characterised by frequent channel migration. Avulsion process is responsible for dynamic nature of these rivers. An in-depth process understanding of such geomorphic processes is required to manage flood hazards along aggrading river systems. New conceptual advancement in geomorphic studies supported with significant enhancement in remote sensing and surveying techniques will help to develop future strategies for sustainable management of such dynamic rivers.


Dynamic river Avulsion process Flooding Waterlogging Sustainable stream management 


  1. Agarwal RP, Bhoj R (1992) Evolution of Kosi fan, India: structural implications and geomorphic significance. Int J Remote Sens 13(10):1891–1901Google Scholar
  2. Aggarwal A, Narain S (1996) Floods, floodplains and environmental myths. State of India’s environment: a citizen report. Centre for Science and Environment, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  3. Bajracharya SR, Mool PK, Shrestha BR (2007) Impact of climate change on Himalayan glaciers and glacial lakes. Case Studies on GLOF and associated hazards in Nepal and Bhutan. ICIMOD, KathmanduGoogle Scholar
  4. Bull WB (1979) Thresholds of critical power in streams: Geol Soc Am Bull 90:453–464Google Scholar
  5. Dasgupta S, Mukhopadhyay M, Andnandy DR (1987) Active transverse features in the central portions of the Himalaya. Tectonophysics 136:255–264CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Geddes A (1960) The alluvial morphology of the indo-gangetic plains: its mapping and geographical significance. Trans Inst Br Geogr 28:253–277Google Scholar
  7. Gohain K, Parkash B (1990) Morphology of Kosi megafan. In: Rachocki AH, Church M (eds) Alluvial fans: a field approach. Wiley, New York, pp 151–178Google Scholar
  8. Gole CV, Chitale SV (1966) Inland delta building activity of Kosi River. J Hydraul Div Am Soc Civil Eng 92:111–126Google Scholar
  9. Gupta S (1997) Himalayan drainage patterns and the origin of fluvial megafans in the Ganges foreland basin. Geology 25(1):11–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Holbrook J, Schumm SA (1999) Geomorphic and sedimentary response of rivers to tectonic deformation: a brief review and critique of a tool for recognizing subtle epeirogenic deformation in modern and ancient settings. Tectonophysics 305:287–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jain V (2013) Flood hazards in India. Geogr You 13(76):22–27Google Scholar
  12. Jain V, Sinha R (2003a) Hyperavulsive—anabranching Baghmati river system, north Bihar plains, eastern India. Zeitschrift fur Geomorphologie 47(1):101–116Google Scholar
  13. Jain V, Sinha R (2003b) River systems in the Gangetic plains and their comparison with the Siwaliks: a review. Curr Sci 84(8):1025–1033Google Scholar
  14. Jain V, Sinha R (2003c) Geomorphological manifestations of the flood hazard: a remote sensing based approach. Geocarto Int 18:51–60CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jain V, Sinha R (2003d) Derivation of unit hydrograph from GIUH analysis for a Himalayan river. Water Resour Manag 17(5):355–376Google Scholar
  16. Jain V, Sinha R (2003e) Evaluation of geomorphic control on flood hazard through GIUH. Curr Sci 85(11):1596–1600Google Scholar
  17. Jain V, Sinha R (2004) Fluvial dynamics of an anabranching river system in Himalayan foreland basin, Baghmati river, north Bihar plains, India. Geomorphology 60:147–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Jain V, Sinha R (2005) Response of active tectonics on the alluvial Baghmati River, Himalayan foreland basin, eastern India. Goomorphology 70:339–356CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jain V, Wasson RJ, Singhvi A, Mcculloch M, Sinha R (2008) Source area contribution and temporal variation in sediment supply: role of inherent geological and topographic controls. Abstract volume—Mountain building & climate-tectonic interaction (MBCT). Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, IndiaGoogle Scholar
  20. Jain V, Tandon SK, Sinha R (2012) Application of modern geomorphic concepts for understanding the spatio-temporal complexity of the large Ganga river dispersal system. Curr Sci 103(11):1300–1319Google Scholar
  21. Kumar R, Jain V, Prasad Babu G, Sinha R (2014) Connectivity structure of the Kosi Megafan and role of rail-road transport network. Geomorphology. doi:10.1016/j 2014.04.031Google Scholar
  22. Leier AL, Decelles PG, Pelletier JD (2005) Mountains, monsoons, and megafans. Geology 33(4):289–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mishra DK (2008) Trapped! between the devil and deep waters. Peoples’ Science Institute, SANDRP, New DelhiGoogle Scholar
  24. Nayak JN (1996) Erosion and sediment yield: global and regional perspectives. In: Proceedings of the Exeter symposium. IAHS Publ. no. 236, pp 583–586Google Scholar
  25. Pandey AC, Singh SK, Nathawat MS (2010) Waterlogging and flood hazards vulnerability and risk assessment in Indo Gangetic plain. Nat Hazards 55:273–289CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Singh H, Parkash B, Gohain K (1993) Facies analysis of the Kosi megafan deposits. Sed Geol 85:87–113Google Scholar
  27. Sinha R, Friend PF (1994) River systems and their sediment flux, Indo-Gangetic plains, northern Bihar, India. Sedimentology 41:825–845CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sinha R, Jain V (1998) Flood hazards of north Bihar rivers, Indo-Gangetic Plains. In: Kale VS (ed) Flood studies in India. Geol Soc India Memoir 41, 27–52Google Scholar
  29. Sinha R, Gibling MR, Jain V, Tandon SK (2005a) Sedimentology and avulsion patterns of the anabranching Baghmati River in the Himalayan foreland basin, India. In: Blum M, Marriott S (eds) Fluvial sedimentology. Special publication of the International Association of Sedimentologists, vol 35, pp 181–196Google Scholar
  30. Sinha R, Jain V, Prasad Babu G, Ghosh S (2005b) Geomorphic characterization and diversity of the rivers of the Gangetic plains. Geomorphology 70:207–225Google Scholar
  31. Sinha R, Bapalu GV, Singh LK, Rath B (2008) Flood risk analysis in the Kosi river basin, north Bihar using multi-parametric approach of analytical hierarchy process (AHP). J Indian Soc Remote Sens 36:293–307CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sinha R, Gaurav K, Chandra S, Tandon SK (2013) Exploring the channel connectivity structure of the August 2008 avulsion belt of the Kosi River, India: application to flood risk assessment. Geology 41:1099–1102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Sinha R, Ahmad J, Gaurav K, Morin G (2014a) Shallow subsurface stratigraphy and alluvial architecture of the Kosi and Gandakmegafans in the Himalayan foreland basin, India. Sed Geol 301:133–149CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Sinha R, Sripriyanka K, Jain V, Mukul M (2014b) Avulsion threshold and planform dynamics of the Kosi River in north Bihar (India) and Nepal: a GIS framework. Geomorphology 216:157–170CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Valdiya KS (1976) Himalayan transverse faults and folds and their parallelism with subsurface structures of north Indian Plains. Tectonophysics 32:353–386CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Valdiya KS (2011) Bracing for flood hazards. Curr Sci 101:16–17Google Scholar
  37. Wells NA, Dorr JA (1987) Shifting of Kosi River, northern India. Geology 15:204–207CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vikrant Jain
    • 1
  • Rakesh Kumar
    • 2
  • Rahul Kumar Kaushal
    • 1
  • Tanushri Gautam
    • 2
  • S. K. Singh
    • 2
  1. 1.Discipline of Earth SciencesIndian Institute of Technology, GandhinagarAhmedabadIndia
  2. 2.Department of Geology, Centre of Advanced StudiesUniversity of DelhiDelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations