River Dynamics

Module code: GY3438

This module considers how rivers ‘work’ and evolve over timescales of 10s -100s of years. It considers the interactions between the flow in a river, the sediment on the river bed, and the movement of that sediment that control the behaviour of rivers over these time scales.  It builds on what you learned about river systems in the second year module Catchment Systems (GY2433), which looked at how rivers evolve over longer time scales (several hundred to several thousand years).

Topics covered

  • River flow and hydraulics
  • Dynamics of sediment erosion, transport and deposition
  • Bank erosion
  • Channel stability and change
  • Dynamics of straight, meandering and braided rivers


  • 16 hours of lectures
  • 12 hours of practical classes and workshops
  • 122 hours of guided independent study


  • Coursework (100%)