Basin Analysis of Fluvial Sediments

  1. J. D. Collinson and
  2. J. Lewin
  1. Andrew D. Miall

Published Online: 29 APR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444303773.ch22

Modern and Ancient Fluvial Systems

Modern and Ancient Fluvial Systems

How to Cite

Miall, A. D. (1983) Basin Analysis of Fluvial Sediments, in Modern and Ancient Fluvial Systems (eds J. D. Collinson and J. Lewin), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444303773.ch22

Author Information

  1. Department of Geology, University of Toronto, Toronto M5S 1A1, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 29 APR 2009
  2. Published Print: 7 FEB 1983

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780632009978

Online ISBN: 9781444303773



  • basin analysis of fluvial sediments;
  • plate motions;
  • tectonic changes;
  • fluvial sedimentology;
  • biostratigraphy


Major fluvial basins may contain hundreds or thousands of metres of fill, accumulated over tens of millions of years. In this time, plate motions may have subjected the basin to complex tectonic changes and carried it through several climatic zones. Analysis of the sediments at the basin level therefore requires us to recognize the effects of a range of sedimentary controls and to use a variety of basin analysis techniques.

This approach resolves into three main areas:

(1) The development of special basin analysis methods for non-marine rocks. Problems of stratigraphy and correlation are particularly acute because of rapid lateral facies changes. Climate is a first-order sedimentary control; its analysis depends on a variety of developing petrological, geochemical and pedological techniques.

(2) Development of models for alluvial architecture which reflect, more fully than at present, the variables of lithosome geometry, interpreted channel geomorphology and channel shifting behavior.

(3) Exploration of the basin-scale effects of tectonics and climate through the documentation of detailed case-studies. Application of plate tectonic principles should permit the development of generalized structural, stratigraphic and palaeogeographic models as this documentation is improved.