April 15, 2008

Book Review - A View of the River

A View of the River
Luna B. Leopold
GB 1215 .L42 1994

This book applies geomorphology to the study of rivers. Leopold points out that people have been trying to change and control rivers through straightening, rerouting and dredging. These engineering efforts often range from difficult to maintain to clearly destructive to nature as the rivers revert to their natural path and behavior. Leopold maintains that if scientists understand how rivers are formed and how they behave, then they will be less likely to create problems by re-engineering them. She discusses how rivers are shaped and measured, how river flow is affected, how water, sediment, and drainage processes interact resulting in deposits on the banks and at the mouth of the river, as well as how rivers create and utilize energy. This geological approach will provide useful background information for environmental scientists as well as engineers who work on waterways.