Special Issue "GIS Application in Fluvial Geomorphology and Landscape Changes"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Maurizio Lazzari
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
National Research Council, Institute of Cultural Heritage Sciences, 85050 Tito, Italy
Interests: natural and anthropic hazard and risk factors; landslides and triggering factors; geological and geomorphological mapping; soil erosion; preservation of historical and archeological sites; monitoring; cultural landscape and UNESCO Heritage
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The use of GIS has for many years been widely applied in various disciplinary fields, serving as an important support to scientific activity and, in the planning field, to the decisional and programmatic phase. Some morphological and environmental contexts, such as the fluvial one, are particularly suitable for experimenting with new tools, as well as useful for constructing detailed geomorphological maps, also through the semi-automatic extraction of the main landforms, or for applying morpho-evolutionary models of the river landscape, to define areas at risk of flooding and built linear and areal erosion models.

The main purpose of this Special Issue is to propose a wide series of studies and research, in which the use of GIS and/or specific app are functional to the representation of geomorphology and river dynamics, linear erosion processes, ancient landscapes reshaped by the fluvial action, flooding areas, and historical anthropical changes of the river landscape and land use.

Papers with multidisciplinary study approaches will be particularly appreciated.

Dr. Maurizio Lazzari
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Fluvial landscape changes, human activity, and impacts
  • Erosional and flooding processes
  • Fluvial geomorphology and GIS mapping
  • Fluvial channels adjustments
  • GIS tools and app

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
GIS Application in Fluvial Geomorphology and Landscape Changes
Water 2020, 12(12), 3481; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12123481 - 10 Dec 2020
Viewed by 594
Abstract
The main purpose of this Special Issue of Water is to propose on overview of studies and researches, in which the use of GIS is functional to the representation of fluvial geomorphology and river dynamics, linear erosion processes, erosion rates, ancient landscapes reshaped [...] Read more.
The main purpose of this Special Issue of Water is to propose on overview of studies and researches, in which the use of GIS is functional to the representation of fluvial geomorphology and river dynamics, linear erosion processes, erosion rates, ancient landscapes reshaped by the fluvial action, flooding areas, and historical anthropic changes of the river landscape and land use [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GIS Application in Fluvial Geomorphology and Landscape Changes)

Research

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Article
Geomorphic Approaches to Estimate Short-Term Erosion Rates: An Example from Valmarecchia River System (Northern Apennines, Italy)
Water 2020, 12(9), 2535; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092535 - 11 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 595
Abstract
Studying fluvial dynamics and environments, GIS-based analyses are of fundamental importance to evaluate the network geometry and possible anomalies, and can be particularly useful to estimate modifications in processes and erosion rates. The aim of this paper is to estimate short-term erosion rates [...] Read more.
Studying fluvial dynamics and environments, GIS-based analyses are of fundamental importance to evaluate the network geometry and possible anomalies, and can be particularly useful to estimate modifications in processes and erosion rates. The aim of this paper is to estimate short-term erosion rates attributable to fluvial processes in two sample catchment sub-basins of the Marecchia river valley, by conducting quantitative morphometric analyses in order to calculate various descriptive parameters of the hierarchisation of the river networks and the mean turbid transport of streams (Tu). Sediment yield transported by streams can in fact partially express the amount of erosional processes acting within the drainage basin. The study area includes two sub-basins of the Marecchia valley (Senatello river, 49 km2 and Mazzocco river, 47 km2), chosen because of their similar extent and of the different location in the major catchment basin. Starting from geomorphological maps of the two river basins, the Tu parameter has been calculated and converted in short-term rate (average value 0.21 mm/year). Moreover, the comparison of these short-term mean data with the uplift rates calculated on a regional scale (0.41 ± 0.26 mm/year) in the Marecchia valley confirms that the northern Apennines may represent a non-steady state system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GIS Application in Fluvial Geomorphology and Landscape Changes)
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Article
Short-Term GIS Analysis for the Assessment of the Recent Active-Channel Planform Adjustments in a Widening, Highly Altered River: The Scrivia River, Italy
Water 2020, 12(2), 514; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020514 - 13 Feb 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 912
Abstract
From the 1990s onwards several Italian rivers have experienced a recent phase characterized by active-channel widening and, generally, by bed-level stability or slight aggradation. However, its triggering factors and its diffusion, along with the relationship between active-channel planform dynamics and vertical adjustments, are [...] Read more.
From the 1990s onwards several Italian rivers have experienced a recent phase characterized by active-channel widening and, generally, by bed-level stability or slight aggradation. However, its triggering factors and its diffusion, along with the relationship between active-channel planform dynamics and vertical adjustments, are still quite debated and only few studies are available. This research deals with the active-channel planform changes occurred along the Scrivia River floodplain reach (NW Italy) over the period 1999–2019 and it aims at investigating in detail the ongoing geomorphological processes under the river management perspective. The study is based on a quantitative multitemporal analysis of aerial photographs and satellite images performed in a GIS environment and supported by field surveys. The outcomes revealed a generalized trend of gentle active-channel widening together with widespread bank instability and several (26% of total banks) intense and localized bank retreats involving both the modern floodplain and the recent terrace. In the investigated 20-year period, the active-channel area has increased by 22.7% (from 613.6 to 753.0 ha), its mean width by 25% (from 151.5 to 189.3 m), whereas no relevant length variations have been noticed. These morphological dynamics have been more or less pronounced both at reach scale and over time. The extreme floods occurred in the investigated period can be considered the most important triggering factor of the active-channel planform changes, most probably together with an increase of the reach-scale unit stream power due to changes in the channel geometry occurred over the 20th century. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GIS Application in Fluvial Geomorphology and Landscape Changes)
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Article
Channel Changes and Controlling Factors over the Past 150 Years in the Basento River (Southern Italy)
Water 2020, 12(1), 307; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010307 - 20 Jan 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1491
Abstract
Channel changes are receiving growing interest in relation to the relevant implications for river management and restoration. In this kind of analysis, purely qualitative approaches have been gradually replaced by quantitative approaches aimed at reconstructing the temporal variations in parameters (e.g., channel width [...] Read more.
Channel changes are receiving growing interest in relation to the relevant implications for river management and restoration. In this kind of analysis, purely qualitative approaches have been gradually replaced by quantitative approaches aimed at reconstructing the temporal variations in parameters (e.g., channel width and depth) to investigate not only the evolutionary trend of the river but also the possible cause-effect connections. This paper investigates the channel dynamics in the Basento River (Basilicata Region, Italy) over the past 150 years, when the river was heavily affected by human activities (e.g., hydraulic interventions and gravel mining) and climate changes. Channel adjustments were analysed with historical maps, aerial photos, and geomorphological surveys. The results show that the channel underwent a strong narrowing during the twentieth century, similar to many rivers in Italy, with the most intense phase from the 1950s to the 1990s (with the width varying from −30% to −80%). The morphology pattern remained almost completely unchanged, apart from a few reaches located in the hilly area that were affected by intense modifications before the 1940s. The causes of channel adjustments were identified as human disturbances (land use variations, channel interventions at the reach scale, sediment mining) from the end of the 1800s to present, as well as natural factors (changes in frequency, duration, and intensity of flood events), whose effects have intensified since the late 1990s. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GIS Application in Fluvial Geomorphology and Landscape Changes)
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Article
GIS-Based Geomorphological Map of the Calore River Floodplain Near Benevento (Southern Italy) Overflooded by the 15th October 2015 Event
Water 2020, 12(1), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010148 - 03 Jan 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 976
Abstract
On 15 October 2015, the floodplain of the Calore River underwent a destructive flood, with a stream stage increase up to 10 m. In this paper, we describe the GIS-based, object-oriented geomorphological map of the overflooded sectors of the Calore River floodplain near [...] Read more.
On 15 October 2015, the floodplain of the Calore River underwent a destructive flood, with a stream stage increase up to 10 m. In this paper, we describe the GIS-based, object-oriented geomorphological map of the overflooded sectors of the Calore River floodplain near Benevento. The map graphically represents the field-checked results of a detailed geomorphological study carried out by means of GIS analysis of historical and topographic maps and orthophotos. Particular attention was devoted to the analysis of the channel adjustments experienced by the Calore River since the end of the 19th century, which shaped most of the landforms in the floodplain. The results showed that the investigated floodplain is characterized by abandoned channels, anthropogenic landforms, and five orders of recent river terraces separated by gently-sloping inactive fluvial scarps, less than 2 m high. On the oldest and/or more distal sectors of the floodplain, landforms are badly preserved, probably due to the more prolonged reshaping by natural erosional processes and anthropogenic activities, and to the high erodibility of the loose sediments in which they are shaped. The proposed map could be a key tool for a correct flood hazard assessment in the Benevento area, permitting thematic maps that avoid or reduce the negative effects of events similar to the 15 October 2015 flood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GIS Application in Fluvial Geomorphology and Landscape Changes)
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Article
Development of Pleistocene Fluvial Terraces on the Eastern Frontal Sector of the Southern Apennines Chain, Italy
Water 2019, 11(7), 1345; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11071345 - 28 Jun 2019
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1086
Abstract
The investigation of Pleistocene fluvial terraces in the small river valley of the Pescogrosso Stream and surrounding areas has shown a complex and positive location for the study of a fluvial catchment development. The Pescogrosso Stream is a left tributary of the Sinni [...] Read more.
The investigation of Pleistocene fluvial terraces in the small river valley of the Pescogrosso Stream and surrounding areas has shown a complex and positive location for the study of a fluvial catchment development. The Pescogrosso Stream is a left tributary of the Sinni River and is placed on the eastern front of the fold-and-thrust belt of the southern Apennine chain of Italy. Sedimentological and geomorphological analyses of eight fluvial terraced units revealed that their formation and evolution were strictly controlled by regional tectonic uplift of the Ionian arc, by climatic changes, and by sea-level variations. In particular, the Ionian sea-level oscillations, as a factor in controlling the short-term fluvial terrace development, was the main factor responsible for the three older terraces’ evolutions. Conversely, the evolution of the five younger terraces seems to have been controlled by the base-level variations of the Sinni River. Finally, the matching of much information derived from regional and local tectonics, the plot of longitudinal terrace profiles, and the application of a sequence-stratigraphic approach to fluvial depositional sequences allowed the recognition of three evolutionary stages of development in the Pescogrosso fluvial incised-valley system during Pleistocene times. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GIS Application in Fluvial Geomorphology and Landscape Changes)
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Article
Testing the Prediction Ability of LEM-Derived Sedimentary Budget in an Upland Catchment of the Southern Apennines, Italy: A Source to Sink Approach
Water 2019, 11(5), 911; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11050911 - 30 Apr 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1077
Abstract
Landscape evolution models (LEMs) represent one of the most promising approaches to evaluate sedimentary budget, although factors such as the high number of parameters or the difficulty evaluating the robustness of the results can represent a limitation in their application in natural landscapes. [...] Read more.
Landscape evolution models (LEMs) represent one of the most promising approaches to evaluate sedimentary budget, although factors such as the high number of parameters or the difficulty evaluating the robustness of the results can represent a limitation in their application in natural landscapes. In this paper, the Caesar–Lisflood LEM has been applied in a small catchment (i.e., about 9 km2) of southern Italy draining an artificial reservoir in order to test its ability to predict sediment flux and erosion rate. Short-term (i.e., about 20 years) estimation of the sediment volumes accumulated in the reservoir has been reconstructed by a bathymetric survey and compared to the results coming from the coeval LEM simulations. Results indicate a good accordance between LEM-based erosion volume estimations and direct sedimentation assessment, thus testifying to the high potential of such models to solve issues of sedimentary budget and short-term landscape modification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue GIS Application in Fluvial Geomorphology and Landscape Changes)
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