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Durham University

Department of Geography

Departmental Research Projects

Publication details

Vandenberghe, J., Cordier, S. & Bridgland, D.R. Extrinsic and intrinsic forcing of fluvial development understanding natural and anthropogenic influences. Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association. 2010;121:107-112.

Author(s) from Durham


This paper introduces a special issue arising from the biennial meeting of the Fluvial Archives Group (FLAG) that took place in September 2008 in Budapest, Hungary. Combining a two-day conference and three-day field excursion, this meeting provided an excellent opportunity for presentation and discussion of recent advances in research on fluvial evolution from the Plio–Pleistocene to the historical period. This editorial seeks to place these advances within the contexts both of long-term geomorphological research and the achievements of FLAG. It thus highlights progress towards a better understanding of fluvial responses to internal and external (including anthropogenic) forcing. It also points out some of the main obstacles, which can be targeted as goals for further research. Typically these relate to observed discrepancies in fluvial system responses, such as in patterns of lateral erosion and the timing of terrace incision, despite apparently similar fluvial parameters. Possible explanations for these discrepancies are mentioned, and the potential of new methods (especially in geochronology and modelling) to clarify such discrepancies is underlined. Finally the editorial provides brief reviews of the ten papers in this special issue (many of them developed from presentations in Budapest), which cover various areas in Europe (Hungary, England, Germany, Portugal, Russia), Asia (India) and South America (Bolivian Andes), placing them, in turn, within the context of this wider review of fluvial research.

Department of Geography