Spatial variability in the timing, nature and extent of channel response to typical human disturbance along the Upper Hunter River, New South Wales, Australia.

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Hoyle, J
Brooks, A
Brierley, G
Fryirs, K
Lander, J
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Michael J Kirkby

Date
2008
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Abstract

Prior to European settlement the Upper Hunter River near Muswellbrook, New South Wales was a passively meandering gravel-bed river of moderate sinuosity and relatively uniform channel width. Analyses of floodplain sedimentology, archival records, parish maps and aerial photographs document marked spatial variability in the pattern of channel change since European settlement in the 1820s. Different types, rates and extents of change are reported for seven zones of adjustment along an 8 km study reach. This variable adjustment reflects imposed antecedent controls (buried terrace material and bedrock), which have significantly influenced local variability in river sensitivity to change, as well as contemporary morphodynamics and geomorphic complexity. Local variability in system responses to disturbance has important implications for future river management and rehabilitation.

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Earth Surface Processes and Landforms

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33

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6

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© 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.. This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article: Spatial variability in the timing, nature and extent of channel response to typical human disturbance along the Upper Hunter River, New South Wales, Australia, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms Vol. 33(6), 2008, pp. 868-889, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/esp.1580.

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Geology

Physical geography and environmental geoscience

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