Rivers are the great shapers of terrestrial landscapes. Very few points on Earth above sea level do not lie within a drainage basin. Even points distant from the nearest channel are likely to be influenced by that channel. Tectonic uplift raises rock thousands of meters above sea level. Precipitation falling on the uplifted terrain concentrates into channels that carry sediment downward to the oceans and influence the steepness of adjacent hill slopes by governing the rate at which the landscape incises. Rivers migrate laterally across lowlands, creating a complex topography of terraces, floodplain wetlands and channels. Subtle differences in elevation, grain size, and soil moisture across this topography control the movement of ground water and the distribution of plants and animals.
Rivers in the Landscape, Second Edition, emphasizes general principles and conceptual models, as well as concrete examples of each topic drawn from the extensive literature on river process and form. The book is suitable for use as a course text or a general reference on rivers. Aimed at advanced undergraduate students, graduate students, and professionals looking for a concise summary of physical aspects of rivers, Rivers in the Landscape is designed to:
emphasize the connectivity between rivers and the greater landscape by explicitly considering the interactions between rivers and tectonics, climate, biota, and human activities; provide a concise summary of the current state of knowledge for physical process and form in rivers; reflect the diversity of river environments, from mountainous, headwater channels to large, lowland, floodplain rivers and from the arctic to the tropics; reflect the diverse methods that scientists use to characterize and understand river process and form, including remote sensing, field measurements, physical experiments, and numerical simulations; reflect the increasing emphasis on quantification in fluvial geomorphology and the study of Earth surfaces in general; provide both an introduction to the classic, foundational papers on each topic, and a guide to the latest, particularly insightful and integrative references.