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  • A Western European River in the Anthropocene: The Seine, 1870–2010

    Michel Meybeck, Laurence Lestel

    Chapter from the book: Kelly, J et al. 2017. Rivers of the Anthropocene.


    Michel Meybeck and Laurence Lestel return the conversation to European water management systems in their study of the Seine since 1880. Echoing Large, Gilvear, and Starkey’s essay, Meybeck and Lestel show how cities affect water quality along the length of a river system. A city can have both upstream impacts through activities such as damming or timber rafting as well as downstream impacts through nutrients and toxic materials inputs. Using long-term historical data on the Seine that they have collected over the past 25 years, they show that Paris and its river is a perfect exemplar of an Anthropocene river system. Their research becomes a model for how to analyze freshwater systems as dynamic historical entanglements of human and natural systems.

    How to cite this chapter
    Meybeck M. & Lestel L. 2017. A Western European River in the Anthropocene: The Seine, 1870–2010. In: Kelly, J et al (eds.), Rivers of the Anthropocene. California: University of California Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.43.g

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    Additional Information

    Published on Nov. 17, 2017