FGM Classification Systems
This Fluvial Geomorphology Module Section will introduce various geomorphological and river classification systems. The classification systems include approaches that use qualitative descriptions and approaches that use quantitative measurements. This section of the FGM Module will cover several classification systems in general terms, but later FGM Module sections will go into greater detail on the widely used Rosgen Classification System.
Many Fluvial Geomorphologic Classification Systems characterize pattern, profile, dimension and/or process. The Rosgen Classification system, however, incorporates many earlier field tested qualitative and quantitative methods into a singular and rather simple measurement based Valley and river taxonomy.
FGM classification systems have been proposed and refined since the early 1900s, yet there exists no consensus on the best system for FGM classification. As you learn more about FGM and read the current literature in the field, the professional discussion on classification will inevitably reappear.
It may seem that each classification system has its purpose, some for a general description based on cursory assessment, others for a detailed categorization based on extensive analysis, and many in between. It may also appear that some systems better address features in certain geological regions, while others are able to provide a means for FGM inventory in any region. Details of the listed classification systems, and many alternative systems themselves, are not described in this FGM Module Section given the scope of the training. Rather, the main themes in classification are presented.Image from FISRWG