The Selwyn River of New Zealand: a benchmark system for alluvial plain rivers

1024 681 Stroud Water Research Center

Larned, S.T., D.M. Hicks, J. Schmidt, A.J.H. Davey, K. Dey, M. Scarsbrook, D.B. Arscott, and R.A. Woods. 2008. River Research and Applications 24:1–24.

doi: 10.1002/rra.1054


Most of the world’s alluvial plain rivers have undergone hydrological and geomorphical modifications due to water abstraction, dam and levee construction, gravel mining and other human activities. Some of these rivers function as benchmark systems for identifying and quantifying the ecological responses to hydrological and geomorphological changes. Benchmark systems are critical for understanding these responses, for predicting the effects of future changes, and for trialling restoration and mitigation measures. The Selwyn River of New Zealand is a benchmark system for undammed alluvial rivers that are under intense pressure for water abstraction, and are subject to large flow fluctuations. []