Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Investigating Fold-River Interactions for Major Rivers Using a Scheme of Remotely Sensed Characteristics of River and Fold Geomorphology

Version 1 : Received: 10 July 2019 / Approved: 12 July 2019 / Online: 12 July 2019 (05:26:16 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Woodbridge, K.P.; Pirasteh, S.; Parsons, D.R. Investigating Fold-River Interactions for Major Rivers Using a Scheme of Remotely Sensed Characteristics of River and Fold Geomorphology. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 2037. Woodbridge, K.P.; Pirasteh, S.; Parsons, D.R. Investigating Fold-River Interactions for Major Rivers Using a Scheme of Remotely Sensed Characteristics of River and Fold Geomorphology. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 2037.

Journal reference: Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 2037
DOI: 10.3390/rs11172037

Abstract

There are frequently interactions between active folds and major rivers (mean annual water discharges > 70 m3s-1). The major river may incise across the fold, to produce a water gap across the fold, or a bevelling (or lateral planation) of the top of the fold. Alternatively, the major river may be defeated to produce a diversion of the river around the fold, with wind gaps forming across the fold in some cases, or ponding of the river behind the fold. Why a river incises or diverts is often unclear, though influential characteristics and processes have been identified. A new scheme for investigating fold-river interactions has been devised, involving a short description of the major river, climate, and structural geology, and 13 characteristics of river and fold geomorphology: 1) Channel width at location of fold axis, w, 2) Channel-belt width at location of fold axis, cbw, 3) Floodplain width at location of fold axis, fpw, 4) Channel sinuosity, Sc, 5) Braiding index, BI, 6) General river course direction, RCD, 7) Distance from fold core to location of river crossing, C-RC, 8) Distance from fold core to river basin margin, C-BM, 9) Width of geological structure at location of river crossing, Wgs, 10) Estimate of erosion resistance of surface sediments/rocks and deeper sediments/rocks in fold, ERs, ERd, 11) Channel water surface slope at location of fold axis, s, 12) Average channel migration rate, Rm, 13) Estimate of fold total uplift rate, TUR. The first 10 geomorphological characteristics should be readily determinable for nearly all major rivers using widely available satellite imagery and fine scale geological maps. The last 3 characteristics should be determinable for most major rivers where other data sources are available. This study demonstrates the methodology of this scheme, using the example of the major rivers Karun and Dez interacting with active folds in the foreland basin tectonic setting of lowland south-west Iran. For the rivers Karun and Dez (mean annual water discharges 575 m3s-1 and 230 m3s-1, respectively), it was found that geomorphological characteristics Nos. 2, 3 and 7 had statistically significant differences (p-value ≤ 0.05) between the categories of river incision across a fold and river diversion around a fold. For river incision, at the fold axis, channel-belt width was always < 2.7 km, and floodplain width was generally (80 % of cases) < 5.7 km; whereas for river diversion, at the projection of the fold axis, these two characteristics had a wide range of values. For river incision, the distance from the fold core to the location where the river channel crossed the fold axis, was generally (80 % of cases) ≤ 8.5 km; whereas for river diversion, this distance was always > 22 km. Since it is highly likely that different characteristics will be important for other major rivers interacting with other folds, it is recommended that this scheme is now used to investigate a variety of major rivers from across the globe. By comparing the same parameters for different major rivers, a better understanding of fold-river interactions should be achieved.

Subject Areas

major river; fold; geomorphology; interactions; remote sensing; characteristics; Karun; Dez; Iran

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