An accessible introduction to large rivers, including coverage of the geomorphology, hydrology, ecology, and environments of large river systems
This indispensible book takes a structured and global approach to the subject of large rivers, covering geomorphology, hydrology, ecology, and anthropogenic environment. It offers a thorough foundation for readers who are new to the field and presents enlightening discussions about issues of management at the worldwide scale. The book also examines possible future adaptations that may come about due to climate change. The book has benefitted from contributions by Professor W.J. Junk on the ecology of floodplains and Professor Olav Slaymaker on the large arctic rivers.
Introducing Large Rivers is presented in three parts. Part 1 provides an introduction to the world's large rivers and their basins. It covers source, transfer, and storage of their water and sediment; Pleistocene inheritance; the ecology of channels and floodplains; deltas; and more. Several large rivers are discussed in the next part. These include the Amazon Mississippi, Nile, Ganga-Brahmaputra System, Mekong, and Yangtze. The last part examines changes in large rivers and our management of river systems. It studies anthropogenic alterations such as land use and deforestation in large river basins; structural control systems like dams and reservoirs on channels; and ecological changes. It finishes with chapters on the management of large rivers, covering both technical and political aspects, and the future of the world's big river systems.
Introducing Large Rivers is ideal as an introductory textbook on large rivers for future earth and environmental scientists and river managers. It will also benefit advanced undergraduate and graduate students studying geography, geology, ecology, and river management.
1 Introduction 1
2 Geological Framework of Large Rivers 7
3 Water and Sediment in Large Rivers 17
4 Morphology of Large Rivers 35
5 Large Rivers and their Floodplains: Structures, Functions, Evolutionary Traits and Management with Special Reference to the Brazilian Rivers 55
6 Large River Deltas 103
7 Geological History of Large River Systems 119
8 Anthropogenic Alterations of Large Rivers and Drainage Basins 147
9 Management of Large Rivers 173
10 The Mekong: A Case Study on Morphology and Management 193
11 Large Arctic Rivers 211
12 Climate Change and Large Rivers 265
Avijit Gupta, PhD, is Honorary Principal Fellow at the School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences at University of Wollongong, Australia.