Hydraulic and sedimentary processes causing anastomosing morphology of the upper Columbia River, British Columbia, Canada

B. Makaske, D.G. Smith, H.J.A. Berendsen, A.G. de Boer, M.F. van Nielen-Kiezebrink, T. Locking

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47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The upper Columbia River, British Columbia, Canada, shows typical anastomosing morphology - multiple interconnected channels that enclose floodbasins - and lateral channel stability We analysed field data on hydraulic and sedimentary processes and show that the anastomosing morphology of the upper Columbia River is caused by sediment (bedload) transport inefficiency, in combination with very limited potential for lateral bank erosion because of very low specific stream power (90% of the sediment in the cross-valley transect studied. Because of very low sediment transport capacity, the morphological evolution of most secondary channels is slow. Measurements and calculations indicate that much more bedload is sequestered in the relatively steep upper anastomosing reach of the upper Columbia River than in the relatively gentle lower anastomosing reach. With anastomosing morphology and related processes (e.g., crevassing) being best developed in the upper reach, this confirms the notion of upstream rather than downstream control of upper Columbia River anastomosis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-205
JournalGeomorphology
Volume111
Issue number3-4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Keywords

  • rhine-meuse delta
  • predicting channel patterns
  • avulsion frequency
  • geomorphology 40
  • load transport
  • brewer 2001
  • netherlands
  • bed
  • classification
  • hydrology

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    Makaske, B., Smith, D. G., Berendsen, H. J. A., de Boer, A. G., van Nielen-Kiezebrink, M. F., & Locking, T. (2009). Hydraulic and sedimentary processes causing anastomosing morphology of the upper Columbia River, British Columbia, Canada. Geomorphology, 111(3-4), 194-205. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geomorph.2009.04.019