Spring 2022 - GEOG 313 D100

River Geomorphology (4)

Class Number: 4751

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    WMC 3220, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Tracy Brennand
    1 778 782-3718
    Office: RCB 7122
  • 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 because of the movement of water and sediment from the mountains to the sea. We will examine: i) river hydrology and discharge, ii) the principles of water flow, iii) sediment transport, iv) river shape and change, and v) the movement of water and sediment from land along the coast and into marine sinks. 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:
There will be 2 hours of lecture each week and 8 two-hour laboratories.  There will be no laboratory session in the first week of classes. 

Field Trip:
There will be a mandatory field trip on the weekend of Mar 19-20, 2022. Your mandatory supplementary course fee covers some travel costs; you should budget for additional costs to be paid to the Department to cover remaining travel and accommodation costs (up to $110, assuming 2 students/room) and food. Any concerns around accommodation should be directed to the instructor. On the field trip you will need field boots, a camera and standard items such as a field notebook, pens, pencils and a ruler; your clothing should reflect preparation for the range of BC weather conditions. Be aware that during the field trip there may be periods of walking on uneven ground, climbing on rocky outcrops, crossing roads with busy traffic and wading in a river. Appropriate clothing and footwear must be worn. Further details regarding safety, meals, accommodation and field supplies will be discussed prior to the field trip. Students must always remain compliant with all student responsibilities, regulations, and policies as outlined in the current Academic Calendar, as well as relevant regulations and policies as outlined in the SFU Policy Gazette and Provincial Health guidelines. This includes, but is not limited to, expected student conduct and the maintenance of appropriate medical insurance coverage.

Spring 2022 courses will be delivered in person based on information available at the time of publishing the outline; please note the delivery mode is subject to change following Provincial Health Officer (PHO) and/or SFU recommendations and orders.


After successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Measure, estimate and explain river discharge (hydrology)
  • Characterize river channel flow (hydraulics)
  • Characterize and measure sediment transport in rivers
  • Discuss the ways in which rivers adjust to changing environmental conditions
  • Explain external controls on river systems and identify their effects
  • Identify the processes and effects of river and coastal processes on estuaries and deltas
  • Identify and explain the coastal processes that redistribute river-derived sediment along the coast and into ocean sinks


  • Laboratory assignments 25%
  • Mid-term examination 15%
  • Field trip report 25%
  • Final examination 35%



Charlton, R., 2008. Fundamentals of Fluvial Geomorphology. Routledge: London, New York.
Boggs, S. Jr., 2012.  “Chapter 9: Marginal-marine environments”, in Principles of Sedimentology and Stratigraphy, 5th Ed. Prentice Hall. pp. 246-269.
Ritter, D.F., Kochel, R.C, and Miller, J.R. 2011. “Chapter 13: Coastal processes and landforms”, in Process Geomorphology, 5th Ed. Waveland Press Inc., Illinois.
At least one copy of each on library reserve.

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 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware 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.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.