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Abstract

Embanked floodplains are the status-quo where humans are a major component of the environment, especially across Europe and North America. Effective management of embanked rivers requires a comprehensive knowledge of past and present-day geomorphic processes, including sediment transport and channel and floodplain dynamics. Many approaches to management include activities and modifications which take into account past natural and human impacts and management decisions, resulting in a palimpsest of river and floodplain management. A synthesis of 12 diverse case studies provides evidence of the palimpsest in river-floodplain management, and illustrates four key roles for geomorphology in the design of effective management strategies, including (1) regional and longerterm context, (2) system evolution and past human impacts, (3) engineering design and management options, and (4), environmental and geomorphic restoration as an end-product. A review and comparison of heavily managed embanked rivers spanning a range of climatic and geomorphic provinces across North America and Europe illustrate the role of geomorphology in this palimpsest and its value to integrated management.

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Acknowledgments

We thank Maarten Kleinhans for constructive comments related to the concept and figure depicting the river-floodplain management palimpsest.

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Correspondence to Paul F. Hudson .

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Hudson, P., Middelkoop, H. (2015). The Palimpsest of River-Floodplain Management and the Role of Geomorphology. In: Hudson, P., Middelkoop, H. (eds) Geomorphic Approaches to Integrated Floodplain Management of Lowland Fluvial Systems in North America and Europe. Springer, New York, NY. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-2380-9_14

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