A View of the River

Front Cover
Harvard University Press, 1994 - Nature - 298 pages
3 Reviews

With the Midwest under water, America had a chance to see how effectively it had "improved" its rivers. We've straightened and dredged them, revetted and rerouted them, made massive efforts to control them, yet our actions have been less than successful. Too often, physical changes made to a river conflict with natural processes, resulting in--rather than alleviating--damage. Applying available knowledge on how rivers form and act could prevent such problems. In this book, Luna Leopold seeks to organize such knowledge. Widely regarded as the most creative scholar in the field of river morphology, Leopold presents a coherent description of the river, its shape, size, organization, and action, along with a consistent theory that explains much of the observed character of channels.

The laws of physics that govern rivers allow for variations, many of them dictated by random chance. Thus, a river's adaptation, as Leopold describes it, tends toward the most probable form, the one with the least variance among hydraulic parameters. We see how this probabilistic tendency plays out as Leopold views the river as a whole from headwater to mouth, in the drainage net, in the behavior of meanders, and in aspects of sediment transport.

Grounded in hydraulics, geomorphology, and surveying, as well as in extensive fieldwork on rivers in the eastern and Rocky Mountain states, Leopold's view of a river is at once technical and personal, providing both a firm foundation for understanding the behavior of rivers--including instructions for getting started in backyard hydrology--and a wealth of firsthand observations by a thoughtful and experienced scientist. It will be of immediate interest and great use as we seek to develop, preserve, and appreciate our most fluid natural resource.

  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - billsearth - LibraryThing

After a hydrology college course, I read this book. I believe the book is very inclusive and clear on the principles governing the various aspects and processes of rivers. Reading this book, the ... Read full review

Review: A View of the River

User Review  - Andrew Woodhouse - Goodreads

Good, quite graphy in parts Read full review

Contents

The River Channel
1
River Measurement
30
Down the Channel System
40
Meanders and Bars
56
Distribution of Discharge in Space and Time
83
Rivers of the World
98
Flow Variability and Roods
110
Relationships between Channel and Discharge 226
126
Sediment Load
183
The Drainage Network
229
Energy Utilization
245
The Most Probable State
271
References
283
Symbols
289
Author Index
292
General Index
293

Watts Branch
148
The Hydraulic Geometry
168

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