Author(s): Gary Parker
Abstract: Alluvial fans are fan-shaped zones of sediment deposition associated with a transition from an erosional or transportational upland to a depositional basin. The agents of formation of alluvial fans may be debris flows, channelized fluvial flows or unchannelized sheet flows. The debris flows may range from dense ones carrying boulders to relatively thin mud flows. The fluvial flows may be in the meandering, wandering, anastomosing or braided configuration, and may be transitional to unchannelized sheet flows or mud flows. Here a description of the many manifestations of alluvial fans is presented. The factors controlling fan development are discussed. Engineering problems associated with fans are introduced. Progress in the experimental, theoretical and numerical modeling of fans is reviewed. Finally, suggestions for future research are presented.