Classification of River Reaches on the Little Disturbed East Alligator River, Northern Australia


The East Alligator River drains a 7000 km2 catchment in northern Australia comprised largely of Aboriginal land and has a very low average population density of about 0.15 persons per km2. River reaches were classified according to geomorphic features on both the East Alligator River and its major tributary, Magela Creek, next to which is located the Ranger uranium mine. Sixteen reaches were described for the 241.4 km of the East Alligator River and ten reaches were described for the 118.8 km of Magela Creek. The dominant river types on the East Alligator River were various types of anabranching rivers, sandstone gorges and cuspate tidal meanders. On Magela Creek the dominant river types were wetlands and channel billabongs, island anabranching and sandstone gorges. It is unusual for anabranching rivers and gorges to be so dominant. Current river classification schemes could not accommodate all the various river types and need to be modified so that tidal channels are covered in more detail and so that the classification of anabranching rivers recognises that sand-bed varieties occur in partly confined valley settings.

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M. Saynor and W. Erskine, "Classification of River Reaches on the Little Disturbed East Alligator River, Northern Australia," International Journal of Geosciences, Vol. 4 No. 6B, 2013, pp. 53-65. doi: 10.4236/ijg.2013.46A2007.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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