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Mountain Rivers

Ellen Wohl

ISBN: 978-1-118-66580-0 March 2013 American Geophysical Union 320 Pages


Published by the American Geophysical Union as part of the Water Resources Monograph Series, Volume 14.

I wrote this book in response to a need expressed by one of my Ph.D. students, David Merritt, who walked into my office one afternoon for a summary reference on mountain rivers. Search as I might, I could not find such a reference in my files. I did find a stack of individual articles, however, and sent David on his way loaded up with them. As I thought about it, I realized that a summary reference on mountain rivers could be very useful, particularly given the increasing interest in the subject that I have noticed these last few years. Thus I began to write a review of the fluvial geomorphology of mountain rivers and, as such volumes will, this grew into a broader review of physical, biological, and chemical characteristics of mountain rivers, and of human interactions with these rivers.

Preface  v

1. Introduction  1

Characteristics of mountain rivers 1

Overview of the development of mountain science  5

Overview of the development of fluvial geomorphology 11

Overview of the development of stream biology  14

Purposea ndo rganization of this volume 16

2. Mountain Drainage Basins 19

Slopep rocesses 23

Channel initiation and development 30

River chemistry 32

Valley morphology 43

Hydraulic geometry 48

Longitudinal profiles and channel incision 49

Quaternary changes 55

Terraces  59

3. Channel Processes 63

Hydrology 63

Hydraulics 78

Sediment processes 92

4. Channel Morphology 149

Morphologic variability 149

Channel classification systems 154

Step-pool channels 157

Plane-bed channels 162

Pool-riffle channels 162

Knickpoints and gorges 166

Braided channels 170

5. Mountain Channel Biota 173

River ecology 173

Aquatic communities 173

Riparian communities 176

The hyporheic zone 179

Conceptual models 180

Biological stream classifications 184

Mountain rivers 188

A case study of human impacts' the Columbia River 191

6. Mountain Rivers and Humans 195

Types of impact 195

Hazards 214

River management 227

7. Field Data, Please  231

References 235

Subject Index  315