Fluvial Geomorphology Essentials

Australian Water School Learn the basics of fluvial geomorphology, focussing on infrastructure crossings

Target Audience

This course is intended for anyone working in the water sector, that has no or very limited experience with fluvial geomorphology. In three sessions, you will learn the fundamentals of geomorphology, building on knowledge gained from the 'Geomorphology 101' Webinar.


Rivers change continuously. Fluvial Geomorphologists use landscape interpretation skills to understand form and process, both historically and into the future. In this three-session course, you will learn the fundamentals of geomorphology, building on knowledge gained from the ‘Geomorphology 101’ Webinar. This course will be highly practical and includes a ‘virtual’ field trip visiting carefully selected case study sites and also physical model simulations to apply the knowledge taught to real-world situations.

Take sessions anytime, at your own pace with unlimited course access for 30-days. The course is also eligible for claiming CPD hours with Engineers Australia, under Type 2 of the guidelines available here. For internationals, further details can be found here.

Course Overview

Session 1 | Fluvial Geomorphology Fundamentals – Led by Mick Cheetham

  • Complex response and equilibrium
  • Physical model visualisations

Session 2 | Interpreting Hydraulic/Hydrologic Model Results for Geomorphic Analysis – Led by Ben Pearson

  • Types of models
  • Use of hydraulic models in geomorphology

Session 3 | Geomorphology, Crossings and Infrastructure – Led by Julian Martin and Andy Markham

  • Crossing types and examples
  • Materials and techniques
  • Case studies – bridge stability and adjacent infrastructure – including short virtual field trip

Pre-course readings provided through the learning platform with videos to watch as introductory background. The learning platform will also include a folder of approximately 20 reading materials to view after the session.

Learning Objectives

In the first session you will dive into the Geomorphology deep-end. Key application areas such as understanding geomorphological values and concepts such as dynamism and upstream-downstream processes will also be covered by our expert presenters.

In the second session, attendees will learn how to interpret hydraulic/hydrologic model results for geomorphic analysis using models such as HEC-RAS, TUFLOW, MIKE, 3D models, build an appreciation for the benefits of using models, understand some of the pitfalls of over-reliance on their outputs, and hear about their application from an engineer’s perspective.

The third session will involve a virtual field trip applying the tools and perspectives.