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Distinguishing flood frequency and magnitude in the morphodynamics and sedimentology of rivers: insights from the South Saskatchewan River, Canada

Parker, Natalie Olwyn (2010)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

The impact of a 1 in 40 year flood on the morphology and sedimentology of the sandy braided South Saskatchewan River, Canada was assessed. Comparison of 2004 - 2007 repeat GPR surveys and the production of DEMs of difference allowed quantification of the initial and long-term 2005 flood impact on reach morphology and sedimentology. Main results show that even though a significant initial morphological impact was caused due to the flood through net erosion and channel incision across Bar A, subsequent low-magnitude high-frequency floods were able to rework morphology due to the ability to transport the medium sized sand bed load. In the subsurface, no distinct flood signature has been left, as flood deposits are similar to the scale and composition of deposits produced by low-magnitude high-frequency floods. Consequently, little evidence of such a flood event will be preserved in the sedimentary record. The research has also highlighted some important findings with respect to linking morphological processes to sedimentary deposits. In particular they have suggested the revision of depositional models for braided rivers, and further research on the relationship between bedform geometry and flow depth in natural rivers. The results have wider applications to other sand bed braided rivers and may aid interpretation and modelling of such deposits on a wider scale.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Sambrook Smith, Gregory H.
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
Department:School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Subjects:QE Geology
GB Physical geography
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1169
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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