Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 1

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 20 Hours. 10 x 2 hours
Seminars / Tutorials 2 Hours. 5 x 2 hours


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 750 word seminar report.  10%
Semester Assessment 2500 word assessed essay.  30%
Semester Assessment 10 minute seminar presentation.  10%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Written examination.  50%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission of failed CA component.  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   Re-sit: written examination  50%

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module students should be able to :-

  • Demonstrate the relationships between environmental change and river behaviour
  • Critically analyse and assess the relative importance of natural and anthropogenic factors responsible for catchment disturbance and river instability in both the Developed and Developing World.
  • Evaluate and forecast the likely impact of changes in climate, land-use, pollution and engineering on rivers and catchment systems.


This module is designed for students to develop a conceptual, factual and practical knowledge of channel, floodplain and catchment response to environmental change over the last 20,000 years resulting from natural and anthropogenic perturbations.


Drainage basin & river response to the last glacial-interglacial transition (18,000-10,000 BP):
Pleistocene context & inheritance in catchment dynamics
  • Britain & Northern Europe
  • Quaternary environmental change in the Mediterranean
  • Pleistocene river histories in the Mediterranean
  • Africa
River Environments & Holocene environmental change (10,000-300 BP)
  • Britain & Northern Europe
  • The Mediterranean
  • North America
River environments & recent environmental change (300 BP to present)
  • Flood histories in Britain in North America
  • Mountain river systems in the Old & New World
  • Heavy metals in river systems

Reading List

Recommended Text
Brown, A.G. (1997) Alluvial Geoarchaeology: floodplain archaelogy and environmental change Cambridge Primo search Knighton, D. (1998) Fluvial Forms and Processes Arnold: London Primo search Lowe, J.J. & Walker M.J.C. (1997) Reconstructing Quaternary Environments Longman Primo search Roberts, N. (1998) The Holocene: an environmental history. Blackwell, Oxford Primo search Thorne, C.R., Hey, R.D. & Newson, M.D. Applied Fluvial Geomorphology for River Engineering and Management, John Wiley and Sons Ltd., Chichester Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6