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The importance of fluvial morphology in hydraulic engineering

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Author(s): Emory W. Lane

Document Type:
Publisher: Proceedings of the American Society of Civil Engineers
Published Year: 1955
Volume: 81
Number: 745
Pages: 745 to 761
DOI Identifier:
ISBN Identifier:

Morphology may be defined as "the science of structure or form" and fluvial may be defined as "produced by the action of flowing water." Since rivers can hardly be said to have structure, fluvial morphology is therefore the science of of the form as produced by the action of flowing water. It is a branch of geomorphology, the science of the form of the earth's surface. Geomorphology has also been called physiography.

Fluvial geomorphology is particularly important to the hydraulic engineer because many of his greatest problems arise because of the form of streams brought about by the transportation and deposition of sediment by them. For the proper solution of these problems, a knowledge of the principles of fluvial morphology is often necessary. Among the problems in which fluvial morphology is a very important factor are many of those dealing with water resources development and include some of the most important river problems in the world. Among these are flood control on the Lower Mississippi and on the Lower Colorado Rivers (of California and Arizona), the development of the hydraulic resources of the Missouri and Arkansas Rivers in the United States, the Yellow and Huai River flood problems in China, the Kosi River floods in India, and many others. As streams become more highly developed, and changes in sediment movement due to stream developments slowly become evident, the importance of the morphological aspect of river control problems will be increasingly appreciated.

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Suggested Citations:
In Text Citation:
Lane (1955) or (Lane, 1955)

References Citation:
Lane, E.W., 1955, The importance of fluvial morphology in hydraulic engineering: Proceedings of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Vol. 81, No. 745, pp. 745-761.