The RIVERLANDS project is based on a series of consecutive and interrelated steps. The first part of the project deals with the characterisation of spatio-temporal landscape patterns and the construction of a river network (Fig. 1). Once every single river reach within that network is characterised following those landscape patterns, a selection of river reaches will be done to characterise spatial and temporal patterns on river processes and river reach controlling factors. Finally, RiverLands aims to synthesize all the results with the production of a river network model for different functioning rates (spatial) and explore also the construction of a reach scale model (seasonal) for different functioning rates.

Figure 1. Schematic representation of the different phases of the RiverLands project and the needed tasks to develop them


In order to be able to isolate the effects of land use legacies on river functioning, RIVERLANDS will concentrate in 1st to 3rd order streams within the Cantabrian Cordillera, northern Spain (Fig. 2). This area concentrates a smaller amount of human pressures than further downstream. Otherwise, the effects of different human activities might be confounded with the effects of land use legacies.

Figure 2. Illustration of study area location in the Cantabrian Cordillera, northern Spain, with studied rivers flowing to the cantabrian sea (Northern catchments), to the Atlantic ocean (Duero Catchment) and to the mediterranean sea (Ebro catchment). Working meteorological stations (25 red circles), flow gauges (6 green) and water quality sites from water administrations (9 yellow) in the study area are also shown.


In order to achieve the RIVERLANDS objectives, there have been proposed the following tasks and subtasks.

Task 1.- Characterisation of landscape legacies

Task 2.- River function temporal dynamics and method comparison

Task 3.- Characterisation of river functioning spatial patterns and river reach factors

Task 4.- Constructing river network and river reach models for river functioning

Task 5.- Transfer and dissemination of results