EGU General Assembly 2008
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  Information - GM5.3 Linking geomorphological and hydrological processes at reach and catchment scales (co-listed in HS)

Event Information
Recent developments in modelling and monitoring approaches, coupled with the emergence of new spatial databases, including high-resolution DEMs, have led to significant progress in understanding of how geomorphological processes interact with hydrological systems at both catchment and reach scales. It is therefore very timely to debate current work on geomorphological-hydrological interactions at all scales, identify uncertainties and difficulties, and look ahead to future research and management needs. This will include novel ways of upscaling reach-scale relationships to the basin scale, and downscaling basin-scale hydrogeomorphological connections to reach and site scales.

We warmly welcome papers which deal with modelling, monitoring or management of geomorphological and hydrological process interactions in all environments and at all space and time scales, and especially those which attempt to link different scales of enquiry (e.g. flow and sediment pathway linkages, coupled storm runoff and sediment transport models, soil and sediment erosion dynamics, sediment, contaminant and nutrient plume propagation and impacts, or hyporheic zone operation). The scope is deliberately broad but, at catchment scales, one emergent example is the development of integrated methods to quantify basin-wide distributions of flow recruitment and channel hydraulics: these hold considerable promise in developing our understanding of river channel instability and channel pattern, bank erosion rates and processes, bedrock channel incision, sediment and pollutant transport continuity, water quality issues and habitat development. Another issue is river sediment and pollutant transport response to changing hydrological conditions in urbanising catchments: this is a relatively neglected part of the environmental change argument, given that global urbanization is projected to increase from its current 50% value to 60% by 2015. At reach scales, recent studies have begun to refine knowledge of the important role of subsurface riparian hydrology in channel erosion processes. Conversely, geomorphological impacts on the hydrology of the hyporheic zone are currently being recognized, especially the influence of channel geometry, bedforms (e.g. pool-riffle sequences) and sediment ingress on the rate of downwelling at riffle heads and upwelling at riffle tails, and hence habitat health.

It is anticipated that selected papers will be published in a forward-looking Special Issue of an international journal.

Convener: Damian Lawler, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences
The University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK (

Massimo Rinaldi, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Florence, 50139 Firenze, Italy (

Andrew Marcus, Department of Geography, University of Oregon
Eugene, OR 97403-1251, USA (

Mark Fonstad, Department of Geography, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas 78666, USA (

Preliminary List of Solicited Speakers


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