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Logjam controls on channel:floodplain interactions in wooded catchments and their role in the formation of multi-channel patterns

By D.A. Sear, C.E. Millington, D.R. Kitts and R. Jeffries


The role of wood in the formation and maintenance of complex dynamic floodplain surfaces is important and<br/>to date has received relatively limited attention compared to in-channel habitat processes. This paper<br/>explores the role of logjams as important agents of channel:floodplain interaction. We draw on a specific<br/>case study as well as examples from the literature to show that although the processes of interaction differ,<br/>the resulting dynamic floodplain patchwork is a common feature of rivers with logjams. In addition, we<br/>contend that the presence of logjams is an important factor in the evolution and maintenance of multiple<br/>channel patterns in both montane and lowland river environments. These observations have important<br/>implications for the definition of reference targets for river restoration.<br/>The specific results of this research show:<br/>1) The presence of a range of types of multiple channel network dissecting the floodplains of low order<br/>channels that are strongly associated with the presence of logjams.<br/>2) The relatively rapid formation of floodplain channels following logjam formation.<br/>3) The dynamic nature of logjams within headwater channels on both seasonal and annual timescales that<br/>lead to a highly dynamic habitat mosaic on the floodplain surface.<br/>4) An increased frequency of overbank flooding and high rates of floodplain sediment accumulation<br/>upstream of logjams and along floodplain channel networks that create the complex topography<br/>observed in the case study forested floodplains

Topics: G1
Year: 2010
OAI identifier:
Provided by: e-Prints Soton

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