Origin of Anastomosis in the Upper Columbia River, British Columbia, Canada

  1. Michael D. Blum3,
  2. Susan B. Marriott4 and
  3. Suzanne F. Leclair5
  1. Dimitri Abbado1,
  2. Rudy Slingerland1 and
  3. Norman D. Smith2

Published Online: 17 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444304350.ch1

Fluvial Sedimentology VII

Fluvial Sedimentology VII

How to Cite

Abbado, D., Slingerland, R. and Smith, N. D. (2005) Origin of Anastomosis in the Upper Columbia River, British Columbia, Canada, in Fluvial Sedimentology VII (eds M. D. Blum, S. B. Marriott and S. F. Leclair), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444304350.ch1

Editor Information

  1. 3

    Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

  2. 4

    School of Geography and Environmental Management, University of the West of England, Bristol BS16 1QY, UK

  3. 5

    Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Tulane University, Dimwiddie Hall, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Geosciences, Pennsylvania State University, 503 Deike Building, University Park, PA 16802, USA

  2. 2

    Department of Geosciences, University of Nebraska, 214 Bessey Hall, PO Box 880340, Lincoln NE 68588, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 17 MAR 2009
  2. Published Print: 15 FEB 2005

Book Series:

  1. Special Publication Number 35 of the International Association of Sedimentologists

Book Series Editors:

  1. Ian Jarvis

Series Editor Information

  1. School of Earth Sciences and Geography, Centre for Earth and Environmental Science Research, Kingston University, Penrhyn Road, Kingston-upon-Thames KT1 2EE, UK

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405126519

Online ISBN: 9781444304350



  • origin of anastomosis on Columbia River between Spillimacheen and Golden;
  • anastomosis of upper Columbia River, BC;
  • geomorphology and sedimentology of study reach;
  • degree of anastomosis of Columbia River correlated with channel gradient, crevasse splay distribution;
  • distribution of active crevasse splays;
  • sediment transport modelling;
  • degree of anastomosis and high slope;
  • fluvial processes and forms


To understand the origin of anastomosis on the Columbia River between Spillimacheen and Golden, British Columbia, Canada, a geomorphological and sedimentological survey was undertaken during the summer flood of 2000. On the basis of these observations, the study reach can be divided into two subreaches: a highly anastomosed section with three to five channels, and a weakly anastomosed section with one to two channels. The highly anastomosed reach occurs immediately downstream from the Spillimacheen tributary and is characterized by a higher channel slope, a higher number of crevasse splays, a larger combined crevasse splay area, a wider valley and a coarser bedload. Higher rates of floodplain aggradation in the highly anastomosed reach are suggested by modern sediment budgets and radiocarbon dates. These geomorphological and sedimentary associations are consistent with the hypothesis that anastomosis of the Columbia River is maintained by a dynamic equilibrium between the rates of channel creation and channel abandonment. Rising base-level, fine bedload and low bed-slope are not necessary immediate conditions for anastomosis of the Columbia River.