For the more information about the geologic resources of the National Park Service, please visit https://www.nature.nps.gov/geology/.
What is fluvial geormorphology?
Fluvial resources include rivers and streams. Fluvial geomorphology refers to the design or shape of the river or stream channel.
Why does the National Park Service monitor fluvial systems?
Most river systems are inherently dynamic. However, significant changes can cause channel instability and create hazards. Monitoring fluvial systems provides land managers with the data necessary to detect or predict channel instability.
- Monitoring Book
- Resource Facts
- Case Study
Geological Monitoring Book
Vital Signs Monitored
- Watershed landscape
- Sediment transport
- Channel: cross section
- Channel: planform
- Channel: longitudinal profile
Fluvial Geomorphology: Monitoring Stream Systems in Response to a Changing Environment (PDF - 6.19MB)
The purpose of this chapter is to provide an overview of river and stream dynamics, describe possible stressors that may lead to channel instability, and provide guidelines and methods for monitoring streams and rivers. To the extent possible, in this short treatment of the subject, we aim to provide a description of methodologies that are useful to most readers.
NPS Fluvial Resource Facts
The NPS has 7 designations specific to rivers:
- National River (e.g. New River Gorge National River)
- National Recreational River (e.g. Missouri National Recreational River)
- National River and Recreation Area (e.g. Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area)
- National Scenice River/Riverway (e.g. St. Croix National Scenic Riverway)
- Scenic and Recreational River (e.g. Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River)
- Wild River (e.g. Alagnak Wild River)
- Wild and Scenic River (e.g. Rio Grande Wild and Scenic River)
Monitoring Fluvial Geomorphology in the National Park Service
Case study coming soon...
- Geologic Monitoring Book, Chapter 4 - Fluvial Geomorphology (PDF - 6.19MB)
- NPS Tour of Park Geology - River Systems
- U.S. Geological Survey - Water Science Glossary of Terms
Last Updated: January 03, 2017