Fluvial Geomorphology

Subject GEOG30004 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: One 2 hour lecture per week; three 2 hour practicals, two 1-day fieldtrips and a 2-day fieldtrip.
Total Time Commitment: Not available

Completion of 25 points of second/third year subjects including an appropriate number of courses in Geography, Environments, Environmental Engineering or Earth Sciences, or permission from the subject coordinator.

Corequisites: N/A
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Completion of either 121-018 Geomorphology or 121-033 Environmental Hydrology is recommended. Candidates with professional experience will also be considered.

Non Allowed Subjects: N/A
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Dr Philip Marren


MSLE Student Centre

Email: msle-ugrad@unimelb.edu.au

Phone: 8344 0276

Subject Overview: Fluvial Geomorphology is the study of rivers as physical systems, and their role in shaping the surface of the earth. Students who complete the course will not only see the landscape with new eyes, but they will have the beginnings of a capacity to manage stream systems at a professional level. We will emphasise a strong process-based approach based on sediment transport and deposition, coupled with examination of modern stream channel change in the light of climate and land use changes over the last two million years. The course will provide an understanding of how and why the variety of natural rivers comes about, including the unique streams of Australia.

At the end of the course, students will be expected to have developed an understanding of the processes of river management. Students will have developed the following:

  • An understanding of how river systems develop within catchments
  • An understanding of how the form of a river is controlled by processes operating over a catchment.
  • An understanding of how hydrology and sediment transport combine to control erosion and deposition,
  • An understanding of how changes in the supply of water and sediment due to climate change or human intervention leads to channel changes.

A 2 hour examination (30%); a major fieldtrip report of 1500 words (25%, due at end of semester); an essay of 1500 words (25%, due late semester); two minor fieldtrip reports (10% each, due mid semester)

End week 5 – Minor fieldtrip report 1
End week 9 – Minor fieldtrip report 2
End week 10 – Major essay
End week 12 – Major fieldtrip report

Prescribed Texts:
  • Fluvial Forms and Processes: A New Perspective (D Knighton), Arnold 1998
Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • spatial analysis (three-dimensional interpretation);

  • management of complex natural systems;

  • thinking in theoretical terms;

  • competence in writing consultancies and journal articles.


Students enrolled in the BSc (both pre-2008 degree and new degrees), or a combined BSc course (except for the BA/BSc) may receive science credit on the completion of this subject.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Science
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Environmental Geographies, Politics and Cultures
Geography Major

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