Derald Smith studying Late Cretaceous deposits in the Alberta Badlands.
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Programme - Theme I Sessions

The goal of the conference is to bring together a diverse group of fluvial geoscientists and provide a forum to exchange ideas, challenge current paradigms and forge new partnerships that can help expand our understanding of fluvial sedimentology now and in the future. Keynote and invited speakers, along with the technical sessions (oral and poster) and field trips, will provide attendees with a wealth of opportunity to interact with other members of the fluvial sedimentology community.

The conference is organised into four overarching theme areas focussing on:

Theme I

River Dynamics and Change

Modeling, experiments, and field observations from modern and ancient systems aimed at understanding the fundamental physics, chemistry, and biology driving fluvial processes and how rivers respond to environmental forcing

Keynote Speaker

Gerald Nanson

University of Wollongong

Confirmed Sessions

Linking modern river processes to the ancient record: Session in honour of Derald Smith (RDC‑1)

Steve Hubbard

University of Calgary

Paul Durkin

University of Calgary

Dale Leckie

University of Calgary

Chris Simpson

University of Brighton

Derald Smith spent a career studying rivers ranging from the classic anastomosing Columbia River to meandering and fluvial-tidal deposits throughout western North America. While observing modern processes and sedimentation he always considered the expression of their deposits in the stratigraphic record. He was an early pioneer in the use of shallow geophysical techniques (ground penetrating radar, electrical resistivity) to expand his ability to understand modern depositional systems. In honour of Derald, this session will feature studies that use observations of rivers, from bed- to basin-scale, to elucidate more refined paleoenvironmental interpretations of deposits from a variety of fluvial settings. We encourage all participants, whether they knew Derald personally or not, to submit to this session honouring his legacy of innovative research using modern observations to enable better understanding of ancient deposits.

Beyond overbank – complex dynamics of channel-floodplain systems (RDC‑2)

Doug Edmonds

Indiana University

Jaap Nienhuis

Tulane University

Liz Hajek

Pennsylvania State University

Irina Overeem

INSTAAR - University of Colorado

Observations and models exploring connections between channels and their floodplains have shown that simple overbank sedimentation models do not always capture the range of feedbacks observed in fluvial systems. Furthermore, there is increasing recognition that in some systems floodplain conditions and dynamics – including processes like levee formation, crevasse-splay deposition, floodplain incision, and floodplain drainage, among others – may play key roles in determining channel migration and avulsion behavior. Understanding how floodplain processes influence and feedback with channel processes is important for predicting flooding and sedimentation patterns in modern rivers, understanding controls on basin filling and reservoir connectivity in fluvial sediments, and interpreting paleo-environmental conditions from fluvial deposits. We invite contributions investigating a wide range of floodplain processes using observations from modern or ancient systems, models, and/or experiments.

Perspectives on river dynamics and change (RDC‑3)

Technical Programme Committee

General contributions highlighting modeling, experiments, and field observations from modern and ancient systems aimed at understanding the fundamental physics, chemistry, and biology driving fluvial processes and how rivers respond to environmental forcing.

Reconstructing river channel migration: Next generation forensics for planform evolution patterns (RDC‑4)

Paul Durkin

University of Calgary

John Holbrook

Texas Christian University

The reconstruction of river channel migration provides significant insight into the formative processes and controlling parameters of meander-belt evolution, and is a fundamental test of any fluvial stratigraphic interpretation. In his seminal work from the 1940s, Harold Fisk reconstructed the paleochannel evolution of the lower Mississippi River channel belt based on scroll patterns, cross-cutting relationships, position of meander cut-offs and successive air photos. This work provides a foundation for applying these concepts to other modern, outcrop and subsurface meander-belt deposits. This session will explore the application of reconstructing river channel migration in a wide variety of settings to understanding fluvial morphodynamics, preservation, and improving stratigraphic and paleogeographic interpretations.

Turbulence, grain interactions, and sedimentation in alluvial and bedrock rivers (RDC‑5)

Elowyn Yager

University of Idaho

Jeremy Venditti

Simon Fraser University

Turbulence and granular dynamics control many sedimentary processes but are often measured at temporal and spatial scales that are small relative to those that impact geomorphology and the rock record. A better understanding of the role of turbulence and grain to grain interactions is needed to improve theories for sediment transport and sedimentation. In particular, this session explores links between sediment and flow mechanics at relatively small scales to processes at the reach to landscape scale. Topics could include, but are not limited to, the role of cohesion on particle motion, changes in sedimentation driven by variability in grain or flow properties, near-bed turbulence under different roughness regimes, and particle cluster formation. We encourage submissions that use data or theory based on field, laboratory or numerical modeling studies.