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Cursus: GEO4-4436
Fluvial Systems
Cursus informatie
Studiepunten (ECTS)7,5
Categorie / NiveauM (Master)
CursustypeCursorisch onderwijs
Aangeboden doorFaculteit Geowetenschappen; Graduate School Geowetenschappen; M Earth Sciences;
Contactpersoonprof. dr. M.G. Kleinhans
Telefoon+31 30 2532405
prof. dr. M.G. Kleinhans
Overige cursussen docent
dr. E. Stouthamer
Overige cursussen docent
1  (02-09-2013 t/m 10-11-2013)
TimeslotA: MA-ochtend, DI-namiddag, WO-ochtend


Cursusinschrijving geopendvanaf 19-08-2013 t/m 20-08-2013
Inschrijven via OSIRISJa
Inschrijven voor bijvakkersJa
PlaatsingsprocedureStudiepunt/Student desk

o   to advance knowledge and understanding of fluvial morphodynamics and system response to changing boundary conditions, thereby crosscutting disciplinary boundaries of fluvial morphodynamics, engineering, sedimentology and geology

o   to develop quantitative skills, including physics of flow, sediment transport and morphodynamics, reconstruction and budgeting techniques, and spreadsheet and matlab programming

o   to develop empirical, analytical, experimental and numerical tools to reconstruct and predict fluvial phenomena, and to evaluate critically the power and limits of these approaches

o   to analyse and interpret scientific data and literature on fluvial processes, morphology and modeling, and to apply this within the fluvial system framework of this course, and clearly present this in writing or oral presentations.


The entire course is a unique integration of process-based and engineering approaches with geological reconstruction. It is the first in a series of three subsequent courses: fluvial systems, tidal systems and coastal morphodynamics. The course content is structured in four themes with increasing length and time scales of evolution. Within each theme, the necessary initial and boundary conditions for certain phenomena are studied, the underlying physical processes identified and derived, and the consequences for morphology, stratigraphy and so on described.

  1. Review of channel flow, sediment transport and fundamentals of fluvial morphodynamics. This part mostly comprises review and deepening of required foreknowledge. References will be provided, particularly for students with deficiencies in background.
  2. River patterns: empirical descriptors and predictors for river patterns (which refers to bar pattern, channel pattern and to some extent floodplain pattern). The ‘advanced’ part here (relative to subject 1 and the content of BSc prerequisite courses) is the level of physics-based explanation and modelling of braided and meandering rivers, in the full three dimensions, and the dynamic interaction with floodplains.
  3. River displacement on plains and deltas is about how a river fills larger spaces by migration and displacement (avulsion). And, while doing so: how, when and why rivers sometimes change their pattern. Such larger spaces include valleys, fluvial plains and deltas. Furthermore, in between the fluvial deposits peat develops, that later on might considerably affect the development of deltas.
  4. From just below the mountains to near the sea is about the fluvial system from upstream alluviated valleys (e.g. with terraces) to the sedimentary (deltaic) zone. Given the required time of significant change, the system at this scale is strongly affected by boundary conditions such as base level change (downstream boundary), climatic change (upstream boundary) and forebulge dynamics (‘initial’ condition).


Activities include programming of a basic morphodynamic model in Matlab (whilst learning the basics of Matlab), with which a phenomenon of choice can be studied, for instance the effect of climate change or tectonics on the river, or the stability of a river bifurcation during avulsion, or whatever you like. Furthermore a number of the above phenomena and processes will be studied for deltas all over the world (and Mars if you wish) to arrive at a reconstruction and insights in preservation and -potential.

Je moet een geldige toelatingsbeschikking hebben
River Morphodynamics (GEO3-4305) en/of Coastal Morphodynamics (GEO3-4306), Geologie van Nederland (GEO2-4201) en/of Sedimentaire Systemen (GEO2-1208), Fluid Mechanics 1 (GEO3-4307), similar courses for new Master students.
Verplicht materiaal
online lecture slides and course manual, scientific literature (papers from the library).
Werkvormen (aanwezigheidsplicht)
Computerpracticum (Verplicht)

Hoorcollege (Verplicht)

Presentatie (Verplicht)

student presentations and reports.

Minimum cijfer-

assessment on reports of student work, oral presentations, exam.

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