Relevant parameters for characterizing mountain rivers: a review

ABSTRACT Mountain rivers are situated in a large portion of the terrestrial surface, especially in headwaters regions, and have been used for various purposes such as recreation, sporting activities, water resources and hydroelectric power generation. However, hydrogeomorphic characteristics of mountain rivers are not fully understood. In this context, the present paper aimed to identify relevant parameters for characterizing rivers in these environments based on bibliographical review. It was identified which parameters have been used and how they have been used to characterize mountain rivers in distinct classifications. The most cited parameters were channel gradient, relation between river width and depth, entrenchment ratio, discharge, sediment transport and grain-size distribution. Also, the current situation related to researches in fluvial geomorphology in mountain rivers in Brazil was evaluated, and the strong need of field survey as basis for the best understanding of mountain fluvial dynamics and characterization was verified.