Fundamentals of Fluvial Geomorphology and Channel Processes
ZONE 1 (Sediment Production)
ZONE 2 (Sediment Transfer)
ZONE 3 (Sediment Deposition)
Figure 2.1 The Fluvial System (after Schumm, 1977)
Zone 2 - the middle portion of the system that is the river; this portion of the system
functions as the sediment transfer zone.
Zone 3 - the lower portion of the system may be a delta, wetland, lake, or reservoir;
this portion of the system functions as the area of deposition.
These three zones are idealized, because in actual conditions sediments can be stored,
eroded, and transported in all zones. However, within each zone one process is usually
dominant. For our purposes in planning channel stabilization, we are primarily concerned
with Zone 2, the transfer zone. We may need to treat only a small length of a stream bank
(Zone 2) to solve a local instability problem; however, from a system viewpoint we must
insure that our plan does not interfere with the transfer of sediment from upstream (Zone 1)
to downstream (Zone 3). In channel stabilization planning we must not neglect the potential
effects that may occur throughout the system.
The fundamental concept that a stream is a portion of a large and complex system may
have been most eloquently stated by Dr. Hans Albert Einstein: