We analyse recent morphological evolution of braiding rivers of disparate regions of the Earth to develop and address the hypothesis that braiding of rivers tends to be reduced by human presence and related activities. Firstly, through a large-scale literature survey we observe generalised paths of bed degradation, channel narrowing and shift towards single-thread configuration in braided reaches due to multiple anthropogenic stressors. Secondly, we select three rivers from different geographic contexts characterised by complementary anthropic stressors for a detailed analysis (the lower Waitaki River in New Zealand, the middle Piave River in Italy and the lower Dunajec River in Poland) which shows that these rivers have undergone very similar trajectories of morphological change. In previous works, these morphodynamic changes have been related to the alteration of the fundamental physical processes of braided rivers, due to anthropogenic changes in constraints and controls. Here, a closer analysis of these alterations shows that analogous morphological evolutionary trajectories can result from very different paths of causation, i.e., from different management causes and different alteration of physical processes. Through the use of pattern predictors we analyse observed morphological trajectories and potential for recovery. We highlight the role of different geographic contexts as sources of constraints and drivers to the river evolution, with reference both to the physical and human environment, showing that the observed similar trajectories are the product of different local conditions and characteristics. These observations have implications for river management and restorations.

Reduced braiding of rivers in human-modified landscapes: Converging trajectories and diversity of causes / Stecca, Guglielmo; Zolezzi, Guido; Hicks, D. Murray; Surian, Nicola. - In: EARTH-SCIENCE REVIEWS. - ISSN 0012-8252. - 188:(2019), pp. 291-311. [10.1016/j.earscirev.2018.10.016]

Reduced braiding of rivers in human-modified landscapes: Converging trajectories and diversity of causes

Stecca, Guglielmo;Zolezzi, Guido;
2019

Abstract

We analyse recent morphological evolution of braiding rivers of disparate regions of the Earth to develop and address the hypothesis that braiding of rivers tends to be reduced by human presence and related activities. Firstly, through a large-scale literature survey we observe generalised paths of bed degradation, channel narrowing and shift towards single-thread configuration in braided reaches due to multiple anthropogenic stressors. Secondly, we select three rivers from different geographic contexts characterised by complementary anthropic stressors for a detailed analysis (the lower Waitaki River in New Zealand, the middle Piave River in Italy and the lower Dunajec River in Poland) which shows that these rivers have undergone very similar trajectories of morphological change. In previous works, these morphodynamic changes have been related to the alteration of the fundamental physical processes of braided rivers, due to anthropogenic changes in constraints and controls. Here, a closer analysis of these alterations shows that analogous morphological evolutionary trajectories can result from very different paths of causation, i.e., from different management causes and different alteration of physical processes. Through the use of pattern predictors we analyse observed morphological trajectories and potential for recovery. We highlight the role of different geographic contexts as sources of constraints and drivers to the river evolution, with reference both to the physical and human environment, showing that the observed similar trajectories are the product of different local conditions and characteristics. These observations have implications for river management and restorations.
Stecca, Guglielmo; Zolezzi, Guido; Hicks, D. Murray; Surian, Nicola
Reduced braiding of rivers in human-modified landscapes: Converging trajectories and diversity of causes / Stecca, Guglielmo; Zolezzi, Guido; Hicks, D. Murray; Surian, Nicola. - In: EARTH-SCIENCE REVIEWS. - ISSN 0012-8252. - 188:(2019), pp. 291-311. [10.1016/j.earscirev.2018.10.016]
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11572/231635
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