Original Research

The contemporary geomorphology of the Letaba River in the Kruger National Park

B.P. Moon, G.L. Heritage
Koedoe | Vol 44, No 1 | a185 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v44i1.185 | © 2001 B.P. Moon, G.L. Heritage | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 July 2001 | Published: 01 July 2001

About the author(s)

B.P. Moon, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
G.L. Heritage, University of Salford, United Kingdom

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Abstract

The Letaba River drains part of Northern Province in north-east South Africa. Its catchment has been modified significantly by human activity which has affected the flow regime; it experiences only ephemeral flows through the Kruger National Park to its confluence with the Olifants River. Although the Letaba is similar to the other rivers in the Kruger National Park in that it displays some bedrock influenced channel features, increased sediment delivery from the degraded catchment upstream has resulted in extensive alluviation within the channel. Sections of channel flowing over bedrock with no sediment covering are rare, and the river comprises a series of channel types: mixed anastomosing, alluvial braided, mixed pool-rapid and alluvial single thread. Each is characterised by a different combination of morphological units which relate to the degree of alluviation in the channel. These channel types are described in detail and inferences are made concerning their formation and maintenance from field observation and measurement.

Keywords

channel type, channel change, geomorphology, Letaba River, morphological units.

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