The Wetland Book pp 1483-1489 | Cite as

Wetland Classification: Hydrogeomorphic System

  • Christine A. Semeniuk
  • Vic Semeniuk
Reference work entry


The hydrogeomorphic classification of wetlands emphasises wetland hydrological processes and functions and their ecological significance within a generalized landscape context. In the hydrogeomorphic classification wetlands are defined as areas inundated or saturated at a frequency to support, and which normally do support, plants adapted to saturated or inundated conditions. The classification system is based on (1) geomorphic setting (i.e., topographic location), (2) dominant water source and its transport (precipitation, surface flow, subsurface flows, groundwater discharge, and artesian upwelling), and (3) hydrodynamics (e.g., the direction of flow and the strength of water movement within the wetland), and groups wetlands into seven classes: (1) DEPRESSIONAL, (2) RIVERINE, (3) MINERAL SOIL WET FLATS, (4) ORGANIC SOIL WET FLATS, (5) ESTUARINE (also referred to as TIDAL FRINGE), (6) LACUSTRINE (also referred to as LACUSTRINE FRINGE), and (7) SLOPES. The classes are considered to have distinctive “ecological character” as they represent the hydrogeomorphic functions of wetlands relating to plant structures, primary production rates, biogenic accumulation rates, and wetland sedimentary fills.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.V and C Semeniuk Research GroupWarwickAustralia

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