Effects of an extreme flood on river morphology (case study: Karoon River, Iran)

Saleh Yousefi, Somayeh Mirzaee, Saskia Keesstra, Nicola Surian, Hamid Reza Pourghasemi*, Hamid Reza Zakizadeh, Sahar Tabibian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


An extreme flood occurred on 14 April 2016 in the Karoon River, Iran. The occurred flood discharge was the highest discharge recorded over the last 60 years in the Karoon River. Using the OLI Landsat images taken on 8 April 2016 (before the flood) and 24 April 2016 (after the flood) the geomorphic effects were detected in different land cover types within the 155-km-long study reach. The results show that the flood significantly affected the channel width and the main effect was high mobilization of channel sediments and severe bank erosion in the meandering reaches. According to field surveys, the flood occupied the channel corridor and even the floodplain parts. However, the channel pattern was not significantly altered, although the results show that the average channel width increased from 192 to 256 m. Statistical results indicate a significant change for active channel width and sinuosity index at 99% confidence level for both indexes. The flood-induced morphological changes varied significantly for different land cover types along the Karoon River. Specifically, the channel has widened less in residential areas than in other land cover types because of the occurrence of bank protection structures. However, the value of bank retreat in residential and protected sides of the Karoon River is more than what we expected during the study of extreme flood.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-39
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018


  • Bank erosion
  • Channel widening
  • Floodplain management
  • Fluvial geomorphology
  • Remote sensing

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    Yousefi, S., Mirzaee, S., Keesstra, S., Surian, N., Pourghasemi, H. R., Zakizadeh, H. R., & Tabibian, S. (2018). Effects of an extreme flood on river morphology (case study: Karoon River, Iran). Geomorphology, 304, 30-39. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2017.12.034