The development of a geomorphological classification system for the longitudinal zonation of South African rivers

Rowntree, Kate and Wadeson, R.A. and O'Keeffe, J. (2000) The development of a geomorphological classification system for the longitudinal zonation of South African rivers. South African Geographical Journal, 82 (3). pp. 163-172. ISSN 0373-6245




The recognition of the Reserve by the new South African Water Law poses new challenges for river scientists. The ecological water requirement or environmental flow is recognised by that part of the Reserve known as the ecological Reserve. If the ecological Reserve is to be implemented, it must first be defined and quantified for all river systems subject to water related developments. Standard procedures are being developed through the Resource Directed Measures (RDM) of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry while monitoring the health of South Africa's rivers is taking place through the National River Health Programme (NRHP). Cost effective methods of developing spatial frameworks for both the RDM and NRHP are required. Concepts of longitudinal river zonation were developed by river ecologists in the 1960s and 1970s to assist in the classification of ecologically uniform stretches of rivers. This paper reviews the different zonation concepts and presents a geomorphological classification of South African river zones that is being applied to the RDM and NRHP. The classification is tested on three rivers, the Sabie, Buffalo and Olifants.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:river science, geomorphological classification systems, longitudinal zonation, water law, reserves, National River Health Programme, NRHP, Resource Directed Measures, river ecology, Sabie River, Buffalo River, Olifants River, geomorphology, South African rivers
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Geography
Research Institutes and Units > Institute for Water Research (IWR)
ID Code:525
Deposited On:08 Jan 2007
Last Modified:31 Jul 2012 06:03
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