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Episodes 2020; 43(1): 535-551

Published online March 1, 2020


Copyright © International Union of Geological Sciences.

Evolution of modern river systems: an assessment of ‘landscape memory’ in Indian river systems

Vikrant Jain1*, Sonam1, Ajit Singh1, Rajiv Sinha2, S. K. Tandon3

1.Discipline of Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar, Gujarat-382355, India
2. Department of Earth Sciences, IIT Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh 208016
3. Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, IISER Bhopal;

Correspondence to:Email: vjain@iitgn.ac.in

Received: October 31, 2018; Revised: July 24, 2019; Accepted: July 24, 2019

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0) which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Every river basin is characterised by an evolutionary history, which may be analysed at different time scales. This study provides a geological and geomorphic history of different river basins of India at different time scales ranging from millions of years to millennial time scales. The river basins in India are divided into six different groups on the basis of different tectono-climatic settings and geomorphic characteristics. The evolutionary trajectories in the past strongly govern the modern day geomorphic characteristics and processes in a river basin. The basin scale data compiled in this paper highlights the role of geological inheritance and ‘landscape memory’ in the evolution of river systems of India.