We study cross-sections on the Detailed Geological Map of Poland (SMGP) to find a geologic and geomorphic pattern under river valleys in Poland. The pattern was found in 20 reaches of the largest Polish rivers (Odra, Warta, Vistula, Narew, and Bug) located in the European Lowland, in the landscape of old (Pleistocene, Saalian) glacial high plains extending between the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) moraines on the North and the Upland on the South. The Upland was slightly folded and up-faulted during Alpine orogeny together with the thrust of Carpathian nappes and the uplift of Tatra Mts. and Sudetes. The found pattern is an alluvial river with broad Holocene floodplain and the channel developed atop the protrusion of bedrock (Jurassic, Cretaceous limestones, marlstones, sandstones) or non-alluvial, cohesive, overconsolidated sediments resistant to erosion (glacial tills, lacustrine or “ice-dammed lake” clays) of Cenozoic (Paleogene, Neogene, Quaternary—Elsterian). We regard the sub-alluvial protrusion as the limit of river incision and scour. It cannot be determined why the river flows atop these protrusions, in opposition to “differential erosion”, a geomorphology principle. We assume it is evidence of geological flood control. We propose an environmental and geomorphological framework for the hydrotechnical design of instream river training.
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