Spring 2021 - GEOG 313 D100

River Geomorphology (4)

Class Number: 2779

Delivery Method: Remote


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 23, 2021
    5:00 PM – 5:00 PM
    TAKE HOME-EXAM, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    GEOG 213, or both EASC 209W and EASC 304.



Intermediate analysis in fluvial and coastal geomorphology with particular reference to British Columbia. Quantitative.


Course Content: This course is about river morphodynamics: the change in river form as a consequence of the movement of water and sediment from the mountains to the sea.  We will examine: i) river hydrology and flow mechanics, ii) sediment transport, iii) types of stream channels, iv) factors that drive channel shape and change, v) ecogeomorphology, and vi) river management and restoration. The goal of the course is to provide you with an appreciation of rivers and the processes by which they modify the landscape around you.

This course may be counted as an elective course in all syllabi for Professional Geoscience (P. Geo.) accreditation by the Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (EGBC). 

Instructional Format: Lectures will alternate between synchronous and asynchronous each week (with the first week starting as a synchronous lecture). For the synchronous lectures, students will attend a 2-hour virtual class (exceptions can be made for students who are unable to attend). For asynchronous lectures, students will be provided with pre-recorded instructional content.

There will be a total of 7 non-mandatory synchronous laboratory sessions. There will be no laboratory sessions in the first week of classes.

There will be a mandatory asynchronous virtual field trip. Details TBD.


  • Participation (online classes, discussion boards) 5%
  • Laboratory assignments 25%
  • Midterm Examination (asynchronous) 15%
  • Field Trip Report 25%
  • Final Examination (asynchronous) 30%



Due to its online nature, this course will require a reliably a good internet connection, a webcam, microphone, headphones (optional).  Please contact the instructor as soon as possible if any of these requirements presents an accessibility issue for you, so that you can be directed to the appropriate SFU resources.

Although this course is online, hand written notes are one of the best ways to solidify learning, thus it is recommended that students have a notebook and pencil on hand for lectures.


Required Textbook:

Wohl, E. (2020). Rivers in the Landscape. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN: 978-1-119-53543-0

Required Readings:

Church, M. 2006. Bed material transport and the morphology of alluvial river channels. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences 34: 325-354. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.earth.33.092203.122721

Davidson, S. and Eaton, B. 2013. Modeling channel morphodynamic response to variations in large wood: Implications for stream rehabilitation in degraded watersheds. Geomorphology 202: 59-73. DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2012.10.005

Eaton, B.C. 2013. Hydraulic geometry: empirical investigations and theoretical approaches. In Wohl, E., editor, Treatise in Fluvial Geomorphology, vol. 9: Fluvial Geomorphology. San Diego, Academic Press: 313-329. DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-12-374739-6.00243-8

Ferguson, R.I. 2013. Reach-scale flow resistance. In Wohl, E., editor, Treatise on Geomorphology, vol. 9: Fluvial Geomorphology. San Diego, Academic Press: 50-68. DOI:10.1016/B978-0-12-374739-6.00230-X

Nanson, G.C. and Croke,  J.C. 1992. A genetic classification of floodplains. Geomorphology 4: 459-486. DOI: 10.1016/0169-555X(92)90039-Q

Wohl, E., Lane, S.N. and Wilcox, A.C. 2015. The science and practice of river restoration, Water Resources Research 51: 5974–5997. DOI:10.1002/2014WR016874.

Wohl, E. and Merritt, D. 2001. Bedrock channel morphology. GSA Bulletin 9(113): 1205–1212. DOI: 10.1130/0016-7606(2001)113<1205:BCM>2.0.CO;2M

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in spring 2021 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).