Fluvial palaeohydrology in the 21st century and beyond

Victor R. Baker, Gerardo Benito, Antony G. Brown, Paul A. Carling, Yehouda Enzel, Noam Greenbaum, Jürgen Herget, Vishwas S. Kale, Edgardo M. Latrubesse, Mark G. Macklin, Gerald C. Nanson, Takashi Oguchi, Varyl R. Thorndycraft, Yoav Ben Dor, Rami Zituni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Professor Kenneth J. Gregory was a major contributor to fluvial palaeohydrological research. Beginning in the early 1980s, under his influence, rapid international growth of the discipline was accompanied by major advances in research methods and techniques. Current research emphases include applications of quantitative modelling and meta-analysis; the correlation of fluvial events to other records, notably palaeolacustine records; and methods for application to diverse issues of river engineering and management. The international expansion and detailed analyses of fluvial palaeohydrology are exemplified by recent studies done in Fennoscandia, the Mediterranean region, India, Israel, Australia, Pacific humid island arcs, and South America. Future developments will involve expanded work with other academic disciplines, such as archaeology, as well as applications to practical problems arising from future climatic change and related environmental hazards, particularly extremes. Remote sensing and high-resolution topography data and tools (e.g. LiDAR) will facilitate new discoveries of ancient exceptional flooding phenomena (megaflooding and superfloods) on Earth and on the palaeofluvial forms of Earth-like planets. New opportunities will also arise from the increased use of machine learning and artificial intelligence for analyses of ‘big data’.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEarth Surface Processes and Landforms
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Time devoted to the preparation of this state‐of‐the‐science review was supported by the institutions listed as author affiliations.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • climatic change
  • fluvial palaeohydrology
  • megaflooding
  • meta-analysis
  • river engineering
  • rivers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)


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