By William L. Graf
Since the initial publication in 1988 of Fluvial Processes in Dryland Rivers, the book was and is foundational in synthesizing river processes and forms in drylands – the semiarid, arid and extremely arid portions of the earth’s surface. It describes the present understanding of dryland rivers, using a theoretical framework with examples and results of research from many areas of the world.
The most important feature of the book is that it presents the first organized review of knowledge about dryland rivers. Information on practical management and planning is also included. The book is unique in that it stresses the philosophical and methodological aspects of geomorphologic research, rather than merely reporting results. Scientists use the book as a review of the literature and as a review of the intellectual development of the field. Planners and decision makers in dryland regions use the book as an entry to the science of geomorphology as applied to dryland environments.
"Will Graf’s Fluvial Processes in Dryland Rivers is a classic. It is well-conceived, comprehensive, theoretical, yet practical, and deals well with both form and process. Few environmental problems in drylands are independent of fluvial processes and climatic variations, agriculture, increasing urbanization, and water demands have all put new strains on streams. The unavailability of Graf’s book over the past decade has been problematic to environmental analysts of all types, but especially to hydrologists and fluvial geomorphologists engaged not only in fluvial analysis, but also in fluvial restoration. Thus, the reprinting of this book at a modest price is especially welcome."
Dr. Stanley W. Trimble, Professor, Geography Department, UCLA
"This book is an excellent summary of semiarid and arid landforms and dryland river morphology. It will be of interest and value not only to geomorphologists, but also to anyone concerned with the dynamics of drylands."
Dr. Stan Schumm
"As research on river process and form has expanded beyond the original emphasis on humid temperate and semiarid regions, it is increasingly clear that some of the standard assumptions regarding hydrology, sediment supply and transport, and channel geometry developed from rivers in these regions do not adequately describe rivers in arid or hyperarid environments, mountainous regions, or the humid tropics. These discrepancies make it important to have concise and thorough explanations of river characteristics that are unique to each type of region. Will Graf's volume Fluvial Processes in Dryland Rivers provides such an explanation for rivers in the world's dryland regions. Although originally published several years ago, the volume remains the most comprehensive, useful and informative summary of the unique aspects of hydrology and fluvial geomorphology in drylands."
Dr. Ellen Wohl, Professor of Geology, Colorado State University
Fluvial Processes in Dryland Rivers, while out of print for a period of time, is certainly not out of date. It remains the seminal overview of the complex dynamics of rivers in drylands. The republication of this book by Blackburn Press is a welcome development. The volume is an essential read for all fluvial geomorphologists and for all geomorphologists interested in drylands. In this book, William Graf shows how many of the concepts developed for rivers in humid-temperate environments (e.g., hydraulic geometry, dominant discharge, magnitude-frequency relations) must be fundamentally reconsidered to understand the processes and forms associated with dryland rivers.
By summarizing a perspective that challenges the universality of traditional "equilibrium"
conceptions of river dynamics, Fluvial Processes in Dryland Rivers not only has important theoretical content, but also provides information relevant to the science of river management and restoration, which currently (over?)emphasizes equilibrium conceptions of river adjustment.
Dr. Bruce L. Rhoads, Professor and Head, Department of Geography, University of Illinois
William L. Graf is Educational Foundation University Professor and
Professor of Geography at the University of South Carolina. His specialties
include fluvial geomorphology and policy for public land and water, with
emphasis on river channel change, human impacts on river processes and
morphology, contaminant transport and storage in river sediments, and
the downstream impacts of large dams. Much of his work has focused on
dryland rivers. He has served as an officer in the Geological
Society of America, and is Past President of the Association of American
Geographers. In the area of public policy, he has emphasized the
interaction of science and decision-making, and resolution of the
conflict between economic development and environmental preservation.
He has published 124 papers, articles, book chapters, and reports on geomorphology, riparian ecology, river management, and the interaction between science and public policy.
He was chair of the committee that wrote Dam Removal: Science and Decision Making (in press), and is presently working on Dam the Consequences: The Effects of Dams on America's
Rivers. He is a National Associate of the National Academy of
Sciences, and at the National Research Council, he has been a member of
the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources, Water and Science Technology
Board, Committee on Glen Canyon Environmental Studies, and Committee on
Rediscovering Geography. He has also chaired the NAS/NRC Committee on
Innovative Watershed Management, the Workshop to Advise the President's
Council on Sustainable Development, and a committee to advise the U.S.
Geological Survey on research priorities.