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

Managing Fluvial Landscapes

Leveraging state-of-the-art science to observe rivers, predict change, and engineer solutions to fluvial hazards.

Keynote Speaker

Michael Church

University of British Columbia

Confirmed Sessions

The role of organics in alluvial systems (MFL‑1)

Sanneke van Asselen

Utrecht University

Harm Jan Pierik

Utrecht University

Alluvial systems are usually composed of an organic and an inorganic component. The organic component, in the form of either dead (peat) or living vegetation, is often substantial, and in some cases even essential for prolonged existence of the alluvial system. The occurrence of organics affects fluvial patterns and processes on different spatial and temporal timescales, and therewith, the evolution of the alluvial system. For example, river banks composed of peat and rooted by living vegetation are erosion resistant, which stimulates the formation of relatively deep and narrow channels. Another example is that both living and dead vegetation, the latter in the form of subsurface peat layers, enhance sediment trapping on the floodplain: (1) living vegetation at the surface affects surface water flows and traps sediment during floods, (2) compaction of subsurface peat layers in the floodplain revitalizes accommodation space for fluvial sedimentation. These processes majorly affect short-term and long-term aggradation patterns, and eventually, alluvial architecture (e.g., geometry and position of channel belts). Other potential effects are those that stimulate the occurrence of avulsion, e.g. through peat and plant jams that block channels, or through differential subsidence due to peat compaction across the floodplain, which may affect cross-channel gradients.

Above-mentioned examples, and more may be found in the literature, suggest significant effects of the occurrence of organics on fluvial patterns and processes. Still, a full understanding of these effects is lacking. In this session, we therefore aim to further explore the role of organics in alluvial systems. We welcome contributions on the effect of organics on alluvial patterns (subsurface architecture of channel and floodplain deposits, and channel planform) and processes (e.g., sedimentation, crevassing, avulsion), on different spatial and temporal scales. This will increase our understanding of the evolution of organo-clastic alluvial systems, occurring worldwide in different climate zones.

Understanding river response to climate change and human perturbations (MFL‑2)

Rip Hale

Old Dominion University

Al Kettner

INSTAAR - University of Colorado

Rajiv Sinha

Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur

River networks have undergone considerable alteration in response to anthropogenic and climatic changes. The spatial and temporal response of fluvial fluxes associated with these modifications are less well understood. Attempts to identify how fluvial fluxes react to various perturbation factors depend heavily on data from both time-series observations, and larger-scale modeling efforts. In this session, we want to highlight field observations and modeling attempts across a variety of spatial and temporal scales that: a) capture river responses to climate change and human impact, and /or b) disentangle the processes that affect fluvial responses.