Sear, D.A., Millington, C.E., Kitts, D.R. and Jeffries, R.
Logjam controls on channel:floodplain interactions in wooded catchments and their role in the formation of multi-channel patterns.
Geomorphology, 116, (3-4), . (doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2009.11.022).
The role of wood in the formation and maintenance of complex dynamic floodplain surfaces is important and
to date has received relatively limited attention compared to in-channel habitat processes. This paper
explores the role of logjams as important agents of channel:floodplain interaction. We draw on a specific
case study as well as examples from the literature to show that although the processes of interaction differ,
the resulting dynamic floodplain patchwork is a common feature of rivers with logjams. In addition, we
contend that the presence of logjams is an important factor in the evolution and maintenance of multiple
channel patterns in both montane and lowland river environments. These observations have important
implications for the definition of reference targets for river restoration.
The specific results of this research show:
1) The presence of a range of types of multiple channel network dissecting the floodplains of low order
channels that are strongly associated with the presence of logjams.
2) The relatively rapid formation of floodplain channels following logjam formation.
3) The dynamic nature of logjams within headwater channels on both seasonal and annual timescales that
lead to a highly dynamic habitat mosaic on the floodplain surface.
4) An increased frequency of overbank flooding and high rates of floodplain sediment accumulation
upstream of logjams and along floodplain channel networks that create the complex topography
observed in the case study forested floodplains.
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