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Bedrock structural influences on river morphology

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) M.Sc.
Date created
Bedrock rivers largely set the pace for landscape evolution in unglaciated terrain and yet little is known about what controls their morphologies. I examine the role that geologic structure plays in the alignment and morphology of bedrock canyons at different scales. At the watershed scale, I examine the striking alignment of the Fraser River with the Fraser River Fault zone and its largely unmapped secondary fault structures. I explore how large sediment inputs affect bedrock canyons alignment and their morphological characteristics. At the reach scale, I investigate how geological structure influences bedrock canyon width. I find that width constrictions coincide with dominant sub-horizontal joint sets whereas widenings coincide with dominant sub-vertical joint sets. I consider this in the context of sequential constrictions and widenings and propose a conceptual model where sub-vertical jointing makes canyon walls more susceptible to failure due to river undercutting than horizontal jointing.
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Copyright is held by the author.
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Scholarly level
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Venditti, Jeremy
Member of collection
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etd20892.pdf 9.57 MB

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