Dynamic reorganization of river basins Academic Article uri icon


  • Introduction River networks, the backbone of most landscapes on Earth, collect and transport water, sediment, organic matter, and nutrients from upland mountain regions to the oceans. Dynamic aspects of these networks include channels that shift laterally or expand upstream, ridges that migrate across Earth's surface, and river capture events whereby flow from one branch of the network is rerouted in a new direction. These processes result in a constantly changing map of the network with implications for mass transport and the geographic connectivity between species or ecosystems. Ultimately, this dynamic system strives to establish equilibrium between tectonic uplift and river erosion. Determining whether or not a river network is in equilibrium, and, if not, what changes are required to bring it to equilibrium, will help us understand the processes underlying landscape …

publication date

  • January 1, 2014