Sedimentology and Avulsion Patterns of the Anabranching Baghmati River in the Himalayan Foreland Basin, India

  1. Michael D. Blum4,
  2. Susan B. Marriott5 and
  3. Suzanne F. Leclair6
  1. R. Sinha1,
  2. M. R. Gibling2,
  3. V. Jain1 and
  4. S. K. Tandon3

Published Online: 17 MAR 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444304350.ch11

Fluvial Sedimentology VII

Fluvial Sedimentology VII

How to Cite

Sinha, R., Gibling, M. R., Jain, V. and Tandon, S. K. (2005) Sedimentology and Avulsion Patterns of the Anabranching Baghmati River in the Himalayan Foreland Basin, India, in Fluvial Sedimentology VII (eds M. D. Blum, S. B. Marriott and S. F. Leclair), Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444304350.ch11

Editor Information

  1. 4

    Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA

  2. 5

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

  3. 6

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

Author Information

  1. 1

    Engineering Geology Group, Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur 208016, India

  2. 2

    Department of Earth Sciences, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 3J5, Canada

  3. 3

    Department of Geology, University of Delhi, Delhi 110007, India

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



  • sedimentology and avulsion patterns of anabranching Baghmati River;
  • near-surface sediments of Baghmati plains;
  • proximal floodplain deposits;
  • crevasse splay deposits;
  • avulsion dynamics of Baghmati river;
  • long-term history of Baghmati anabranching reach


The Baghmati River, a foothills-fed system in the Himalayan foreland basin of north Bihar, has an anabranching mid-stream reach and floodplains that aggraded rapidly during the late Holocene. The river is characterized by variable discharge, frequent and widespread overbank flooding, and high sediment load. Changes in river course on a decadal time-scale have resulted in temporarily abandoned reaches that are periodically reoccupied. Chute and neck cutoffs, and crevasse splays are also prominent. Borehole logs show that the anabranching reach is underlain by sandy channel bodies up to 25 m thick, separated by mudstone units up to 30 m thick. Extrapolation of floodplain accumulation rates to the mudstones suggests that channels were stably positioned for thousands to tens of thousands of years, allowing thick muds to accumulate. Repeated reoccupation of pre-existing drainage lines may have promoted the creation of thick, narrow channel bodies. Stacked overbank deposits probably form the bulk of the floodplain sediments, but channels that avulse into floodplain lakes (tals) may generate associated avulsion deposits. The Baghmati River sediments are a modern analogue for the deposits of rapidly subsiding extensional and foreland basins in the ancient record.