Original paper

Fluvial micromorphology influenced by tillage on a Danubian floodplain in Hungary

Lóczy, Dénes; Gyenizse, Péter


In the Carpathian Basin, floodplains are the most widespread and extensive topographic units. The floodplains along major rivers are markedly divided by flood-control dykes into two sections: the narrow and mostly forested active floodplain and the much wider protected floodplain under agricultural use. High-resolution aerial photographs and satellite images, recently made available for research, reveal minor variations in surface moisture content and, thus, allow for a more realistic evaluation of the part regular tillage plays in present-day geomorphic evolution. (As a matter of fact, the deeper structure of scroll bars is left intact by tillage but the impact on landscape ecology is still considerable.) In a test area of the prrotected Daanubiiaan floodplain, an experimental survey was made taking advantage of two methodological approaches. In one approach fluvial features (primarily point-bar systems) are surveyed and analysed from remotely-sensed images for density and distribution according to alignment. In the second step geomorphological units are identified and their pattern confronted with usual tillage directions in the individual agricultural fields. For practical considerations, being mostly controlled by the shape of agricultural fields, the direction of tillage is fairly constant and usually does not alternate on a year-to-year basis. It is claimed that the angle between tillage direction and the axis of the scroll-bar system is a meaningful parameter in the prediction of the obliteration of river deposition features from the surface over time. Further checking of the method is necessary in other sections of the Danubian floodplain and in other floodplains of the Carpathian Basin.


floodplain patternremote sensingtillage alignmentdanube