Floodplain and Meandering Research

This effort concentrates on modeling of floodplain evolution, particularly in meandering streams. A bibliography of published work is available.

This image shows the age of a simulated floodplain created by stream meandering. The stream starts as a nearly straight channel but develops a meandering pattern and eventually a complex pattern of active and abandoned loops as cutoffs begin. In the illustration the areas most recently occupied by the stream are yellow, and the oldest areas are blue. Areas that have not been occupied by the meandering stream during the simulation are yellow. The model also has a crude representation of sedimentation on the floodplain, with the rate of sedimentation decreasing exponentially with distance from the active channel and also decreasing exponentially with floodplain height. An elevation map of the same flooplain is shown below. High areas are yellow and the lowest areas (the active channel) are blue. Note the presence of oxbow depressions in abandoned loops.

The program used to create these simulated floodplains is available, together with documentation. The program is written in Pascal. The program is available as a zip file.