Figure 5.3. Relationship between flume slope and sinuosity (ratio between channel length
and valley length) during flume experiments at constant water discharge (from
Schumm and Khan 1972).
5.3.1 Differences Through Time
During the climate changes of Quaternary time, many rivers completely changed their
morphology and behavior (Figure 5.4). This metamorphosis reflected great changes of
discharge and sediment load. In addition to the Mississippi River, rivers on the Polish Plain
(Kozarski and Retnicki 1977) and the Riverine Plain of Australia (Schumm 1968) underwent
the same type of changes.
Figure 5.4. Sequence of channel changes as water discharge and sediment loads
decrease. (A) braided channel; (B) transitional meandering-braided
channel with well-defined thalweg; (C) low-sinuosity channel; (D) relatively
narrow and deep moderately sinuous channel; and (E) multiphase
meandering channel (after Schumm and Brakenridge 1987).