The 2016 IAHR Monograph, written by Dieter Rickenmann, is a book dedicated to the quantitative assessment of channel processes in mountain torrents. It represents a new milestone for all those stakeholders conducting investigations, designing works, and planning actions in the mountain catchments of the Alps. More generally, the entire content is very valuable when it comes to operating in steep basins where typical channel processes – such as flash floods, heterogeneous sizes of river-bed material, driftwood and the potential for high supply of material from landslides and sediment source areas - are in play during significant rainstorm events.
The book begins with a complete review of the research on flow resistance in steep alluvial streams, this topic being the fundamental ‘boundary condition’ for the majority of water-driven natural processes that might be activated during torrent events. The subject of fluvial bedload transport is then fully covered, with detailed descriptions of the mosaic of interactions of physical and morphological variables that facilitate or inhibit the transport rate and affect sediment transport capacity. A substantial chapter considers debris-flow phenomena, as well as the genesis, hydraulic behaviour and principal kinematic/dynamic variables and depositional features of both torrent bed and fan area. Two final chapters refine the overall view of the magnitude-versus-frequency of debris flow and present a synoptic pathway for the hazard mapping of torrent events.
The entire book expresses concepts and describes methods in a very clear, effective and appropriate form and it provides the reader with all the information needed to independently handle the scientific and technical questions that can arise during their work. It explains the assessment tools of torrent-channel processes, and its content is of the highest quality and completely up-to-date as to the present research position. The book will be of great value to high-level practitioners (hydraulic engineers, geologists, forestry and environmental scientists), researchers and MSc/PhD students.
Prof. Eng. Vincenzo D’Agostino
(TESAF Department, Università degli Studi di Padova, Italy)
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