Special Issue "Fluvial Processes and Denudation"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Hydrology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Achim A. Beylich
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Geomorphological Field Laboratory (GFL), Sandviksgjerde, Strandvegen 484, 7584 Selbustrand, Norway
Interests: geomorphology; hydrology; process monitoring; fluvial processes and forms; fluvial transport; drainage basin systems; sedimentary budgets; source-to-sink fluxes; denudation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Fluvial processes and fluvial denudation, including both chemical and mechanical processes, are of high relevance for Earth surface and landscape development, as well as the fluvial transfer of solutes, nutrients, and sediments from headwater systems through the main stems of drainage basin systems to the World Ocean. Fluvial processes and fluvial denudation are controlled by a range of environmental drivers, and can be significantly affected by anthropogenic activities. A better understanding of the possible effects of the ongoing and accelerated environmental changes on present-day fluvial and denudational processes requires systematic and quantitative studies (including environmental monitoring) on the actual drivers of these processes. Only if we have an improved knowledge of the drivers and quantitative rates of contemporary fluvial and denudational processes, as well as knowledge of the connectivity in landscapes and within fluvial systems across a range of different spatial scales and selected climatic environments, can the possible effects of the global environmental changes on fluvial processes and fluvial denudation within defined drainage basin systems be better assessed. Special focus should be given to the drainage basin systems in selected climatic environments that are expected to react particularly sensitively to the ongoing and accelerated environmental changes.

Dr. Achim A. Beylich
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • fluvial system
  • fluvial processes
  • fluvial transport
  • denudation
  • connectivity
  • drainage basin system
  • landscape development
  • environmental drivers
  • climatic environments
  • environmental change
  • environmental monitoring

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Land-Use/-Cover Changes and Their Effect on Soil Erosion and River Suspended Sediment Load in Different Landscape Zones of European Russia during 1970–2017
Water 2021, 13(12), 1631; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13121631 - 10 Jun 2021
Viewed by 917
Abstract
Contemporary trends in cultivated land and their influence on soil/gully erosion and river suspended sediment load were analyzed by various landscape zones within the most populated and agriculturally developed part of European Russia, covering 2,222,390 km2. Based on official statistics from [...] Read more.
Contemporary trends in cultivated land and their influence on soil/gully erosion and river suspended sediment load were analyzed by various landscape zones within the most populated and agriculturally developed part of European Russia, covering 2,222,390 km2. Based on official statistics from the Russian Federation and the former Soviet Union, this study showed that after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, there was a steady downward trend in cultivated land throughout the study region. From 1970–1987 to 2005–2017, the region lost about 39% of its croplands. Moreover, the most significant relative reduction in cultivated land was noted in the forest zone (south taiga, mixed and broadleaf forests) and the dry steppes and the semi-desert of the Caspian Lowland—about 53% and 65%, respectively. These territories are with climatically risky agriculture and less fertile soils. There was also a widespread reduction in agricultural machinery on croplands and livestock on pastures of the region. A decrease in soil/gully erosion rates over the past decades was also revealed based on state hydrological monitoring data on river suspended sediment load as one of the indicators of the temporal variability of erosion intensity in river basins and the published results of some field research in various parts of the studied landscape zones. The most significant reduction in the intensity of erosion and the load of river suspended sediment was found in European Russia’s forest-steppe zone. This was presumably due to a favorable combination of the above changes in land cover/use and climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluvial Processes and Denudation)
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Article
Assessment of Hydrology and Sediment Yield in the Mekong River Basin Using SWAT Model
Water 2020, 12(12), 3503; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123503 - 13 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1501
Abstract
The Mekong River Basin (MRB) in Southeast Asia is among the world’s ten largest rivers, both in terms of its discharge and sediment load. The spatial and temporal resolution to accurately determine the sediment load/yield from tributaries and sub-basin that enters the Mekong [...] Read more.
The Mekong River Basin (MRB) in Southeast Asia is among the world’s ten largest rivers, both in terms of its discharge and sediment load. The spatial and temporal resolution to accurately determine the sediment load/yield from tributaries and sub-basin that enters the Mekong mainstream still lacks from the large-scale model. In this study, the SWAT model was applied to the MRB to assess long-term basin hydrology and to quantify the sediment load and spatial sediment yield in the MRB. The model was calibrated and validated (1985–2016) at a monthly time step. The overall proportions of streamflow in the Mekong River were 34% from surface runoff, 21% from lateral flow, 45% from groundwater contribution. The average annual sediments yield presented 1295 t/km2/year in the upper part of the basin, 218 t/km2/year in the middle, 78 t/km2/year in the intensive agricultural area and 138 t/km2/year in the highland area in the lower part. The annual average sediment yield for the Mekong River was 310 t/km2/year from upper 80% of the total MRB before entering the delta. The derived sediment yield and a spatial soil erosion map can explicitly illustrate the identification and prioritization of the critical soil erosion-prone areas of the MR sub-basins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluvial Processes and Denudation)
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Article
Coupling Sediment Transport Dynamics with Sediment and Discharge Sources in a Glacial Andean Basin
Water 2020, 12(12), 3452; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123452 - 09 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 689
Abstract
Suspended and bedload transport dynamics on rivers draining glacierized basins depend on complex processes of runoff generation together with the degree of sediment connectivity and coupling at the basin scale. This paper presents a recent dataset of sediment transport in the Estero Morales, [...] Read more.
Suspended and bedload transport dynamics on rivers draining glacierized basins depend on complex processes of runoff generation together with the degree of sediment connectivity and coupling at the basin scale. This paper presents a recent dataset of sediment transport in the Estero Morales, a 27 km2 glacier-fed basin in Chile where suspended sediment concentration (SSC) and bedload (BL) fluxes have been continuously monitored during two ablation seasons (2014–2015 and 2015–1016). The relationship between discharge and SSC depends on the origin of runoff, which is higher during glacier melting, although the hysteresis index reveals that sediment sources are closer to the outlet during snowmelt. As for suspended sediment transport, bedload availability and yield depend on the origin of runoff. Bedload yield and bedload transport efficiency are higher during the glacier melting period in the first ablations season due to a high coupling to the proglacial area after the snowmelt period. Instead, on the second ablation seasons the peak of bedload yield and bedload transport efficiency occur in the snowmelt period, due to a better coupling of the lower part of the basin caused by a longer permanency of snow. Differences in volumes of transported sediments between the two seasons reveal contrasting mechanisms in the coupling dynamic of the sediment cascade, due to progressive changes of type and location of the main sources of runoff and sediments in this glacierized basin. The paper highlights the importance of studying these trends, as with retreating glaciers basins are likely producing less sediments after the “peak flow”, with long-term consequences on the ecology and geomorphology of rivers downstream. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluvial Processes and Denudation)
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Article
Modelling of Erosion and Transport Processes
Water 2019, 11(12), 2604; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11122604 - 10 Dec 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 960
Abstract
Erosion phenomena are the result of complicated natural processes. The determination of their course, their mathematical expression, and predicting erosion phenomena of certain intensities is an important hydrological problem. To obtain a solution, it is necessary to evaluate the erosion factors in detail, [...] Read more.
Erosion phenomena are the result of complicated natural processes. The determination of their course, their mathematical expression, and predicting erosion phenomena of certain intensities is an important hydrological problem. To obtain a solution, it is necessary to evaluate the erosion factors in detail, which act by the origin and course of erosion processes, to analyse their influences, and to apply correct conclusions to their complex activity on this basis. Dimensional analysis is a conceptual tool often applied in engineering to understand physical situations involving a mix of different kinds of physical quantities. It is routinely used by physical scientists and engineers to check the plausibility of derived equations and computations. It is also used to form reasonable hypotheses about complex physical situations that can be tested by experiment or by more developed theories of the phenomena. In this paper, the dimensional analysis is used for the modelling of erosion and transport processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluvial Processes and Denudation)
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Review

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Review
Vegetation and Geomorphic Connectivity in Mountain Fluvial Systems
Water 2021, 13(5), 593; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13050593 - 25 Feb 2021
Viewed by 869
Abstract
Rivers are complex biophysical systems, constantly adjusting to a suite of changing governing conditions, including vegetation cover within their basins. This review seeks to: (i) highlight the crucial role that vegetation’s influence on the efficiency of clastic material fluxes (geomorphic connectivity) plays in [...] Read more.
Rivers are complex biophysical systems, constantly adjusting to a suite of changing governing conditions, including vegetation cover within their basins. This review seeks to: (i) highlight the crucial role that vegetation’s influence on the efficiency of clastic material fluxes (geomorphic connectivity) plays in defining mountain fluvial landscape’s behavior; and (ii) identify key challenges which hinder progress in the understanding of this subject. To this end, a selective literature review is carried out to illustrate the pervasiveness of the plants’ effects on geomorphic fluxes within channel networks (longitudinal connectivity), as well as between channels and the broader landscape (lateral connectivity). Taken together, the reviewed evidence lends support to the thesis that vegetation-connectivity linkages play a central role in regulating geomorphic behavior of mountain fluvial systems. The manuscript is concluded by a brief discussion of the need for the integration of mechanistic research into the local feedbacks between plants and sediment fluxes with basin-scale research that considers emergent phenomena. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluvial Processes and Denudation)
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