In nearly 200 entries ranging from a few paragraphs to several pages, Rivers of the World covers all of the great rivers of the world including the Nile, Niger, Amazon, and Mississippi, as well as smaller waterways that illustrate important themes or represent trends. The book includes bibliographies for each river.
‘Reading the landscape’ entails making sense of what a riverscape looks like, how it works, how it has evolved over time, and how alterations to one part of a catchment may have secondary consequences elsewhere, over different timeframes. These place-based field analyses are framed within their topographic, climatic and environmental context. Issues and principles presented in the first part of this book provide foundational understandings that underpin the approach to reading the landscape that is presented in the second half of the book. In reading the landscape, detective-style investigations and interpretations are tied to theoretical and conceptual principles to generate catchment-specific analyses of river character, behaviour and evolution, including responses to human disturbance.
This book has been constructed as an introductory text on river landscapes, providing a bridge and/or companion to quantitatively-framed or modelled approaches to landscape analysis that are addressed elsewhere. Key principles outlined in the book emphasise the importance of complexity, contingency and emergence in interpreting the character, behaviour and evolution of any given system.
The target audience is second and third year undergraduate students in geomorphology, hydrology, earth science and environmental science, as well as river practitioners who use geomorphic understandings to guide scientific and/or management applications.
The primary focus of Kirstie and Gary’s research and teaching entails the use of geomorphic principles as a tool with which to develop coherent scientific understandings of river systems, and the application of these understandings in management practice. Kirstie and Gary are co-developers of the River Styles® Framework and Short Course that is widely used in river management, decision-making and training.
Additional resources for this book can be found at: www.wiley.com/go/fryirs/riversystems.
A World of Rivers explores the confluence of human and environmental change on ten of the great rivers of the world. Ranging from the Murray-Darling in Australia and the Yellow River in China to Central Europe’s Danube and the United States’ Mississippi, the book journeys down the most important rivers in all corners of the globe. Wohl shows us how pollution, such as in the Ganges and in the Ob of Siberia, has affected biodiversity in the water. But rivers are also resilient, and Wohl stresses the importance of conservation and restoration to help reverse the effects of human carelessness and hubris.
What all these diverse rivers share is a critical role in shaping surrounding landscapes and biological communities, and Wohl’s book ultimately makes a strong case for the need to steward positive change in the world’s great rivers.