your fluvial geomorphologist for New
England and beyond!
Contact Field Geology for fluvial
geomorphology services including:
is Fluvial Geomorphology?
Fluvial geomorphology is a science devoted to understanding how the natural
setting and human land use in a watershed determine the shape of the river
channel. A fluvial geomorphologist seeks to predict what physical changes will
occur to a stream channel in response to alterations in watershed conditions;
and, in turn, how these changes will impact human infrastructure and fish
habitat. A river's adjustment to watershed perturbations may take thousands of
years, as is the case throughout much of New England as the result of
deglaciation. In other instances, channel modifications may occur in less than a
decade, as is frequently the case with direct human activity in a stream
channel. Understanding how these perturbations, operating at different time
scales, alter the width, depth, and planform of a channel is critical for
identifying potential problem areas in a river system. Although the science of
fluvial geomorphology is decades old, its widespread application in watershed
studies is relatively recent. River managers are rapidly recognizing the role
fluvial geomorphology can play in assessing channel condition, identifying
long-term solutions for channel instability, and evaluating the effectiveness of
restoration efforts. A geomorphological approach to river management reduces
flood damages while improving salmon and trout habitat.
P.O. Box 824
Portland, ME 04104
Flood Hazard Studies
GIS-Based Watershed Assessment
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