Wordtrade LogoWordtrade.com
Earth Science


Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences



Rivers and Floodplains: Forms, Processes, and Sedimentary Record by J. S. Bridge (Blackwell) Rivers and floodplains are of interest to most people in one way or another, because most of us live near rivers and floodplains and rely on them for water supply, food, power, transport, recreation, waste disposal, and as a source of raw materials. Earth scientists and civil, environmental, and agricul­tural engineers must understand rivers and flood­plains in order to deal with problems such as floods, water supply, design and construction of artificial channels, river-bank erosion, sedimentation in reservoirs and navigated waterways, restoration of freshwater habitats, and remediation of polluted surface water and groundwater. Earth scientists (particularly physical geographers and sedimentary geologists) also study modem rivers and flood­plains in order to understand how water flows, transports, erodes, and deposits sediment, and how these processes control the form of hill-slopes, river channels, floodplains, alluvial fans, and deltas. Sedimentary geologists are particularly interested in the nature of modern deposition in rivers and flood­plains, as this knowledge must be used to inter­pret the origin of ancient river deposits. Ancient river deposits contain a record of past landscapes, earth movements, and climates. An understanding of ancient river deposits is essential for effective exploration, development, and management of economically important resources contained within ancient river deposits, such as water, oil, gas, placer minerals, and coal. Therefore, hydrogeologists, environmental geologists, petroleum geologists, and engineers must understand the deposits of rivers and floodplains. This broad interest in rivers and floodplains has resulted in such a vast and disparate literature that it is very difficult to obtain a compre­hensive view of rivers and floodplains as a general background for work in a more specialized field. Therefore, my purpose in writing this book is to bring together the literature on rivers and flood­plains in a way that will appeal to a broad audience of students, teachers, and practicing professionals in the fields of geology, geography, and engineering.

Rivers and Floodplains is concerned with the origin, nature, and evolution of alluvial rivers and floodplains. Following a brief overview of river systems, the main part of the book is concerned with the geo­metry, water flow, sediment transport, erosion, and deposition associated with modern alluvial rivers and floodplains, and how this information is used to interpret deposits of ancient rivers and floodplains. These topics are considered in order of increasing spatial and time scale. There is a section on inter­pretation of the types and lifestyles of ancient land-dwelling organisms from organic remains in fluvial deposits. Throughout the book, there is spe­cific reference to human interactions with rivers and floodplains, and associated environmental and engineering concerns. There is also frequent refer­ence made to economic aspects of fluvial deposits. Methods of studying rivers and floodplains and their deposits are discussed at the end of the book.

The approach taken in Rivers and Floodplains is to emphasize basic principles, but also to discuss some of the more important details. These principles and details are supported by many examples, but Bridge  has tried to avoid a catalogue of case studies. A basic aim is to foster understanding of the nature of modern rivers and floodplains, and to illustrate that this understanding is required before any problems concerning rivers and floodplains, past or present, can be understood.

Achieving Sustainable Freshwater Systems: A Web of Connections by Marjorie M. Holland, Elizabeth R. Blood, Lawrence R. Shaffer (Island Press) One of the most pressing challenges of the 21st century is to develop a means of satisfying the water demands of an ever-expanding human population while at the same time protecting the aquatic ecosystems and ecological services upon which all life depends.

Achieving Sustainable Freshwater Systems brings together experts from a wide range of disciplines to present key insights and information on sustainable freshwater systems. Contributors represent a variety of perspectives and expertise, helping to illuminate the multiple connections and concerns involved with freshwater systems. Throughout they focus on the idea that freshwater systems lie at the heart of many different environmental and societal concerns. Achieving sustainability will require a heightened understanding of the connections among those concerns, and a willingness for experts and stakeholders to work together across areas of interest.

For both scientists and managers, Achieving Sustainable Freshwater Systems represents an important new resource for formulating site-specific solutions to problems involving natural resource sustainability

Headline 3

insert content here