A unified approach to the analysis of changes in large alluvial rivers. Integrates hydrology, geomorphology, and ecology over a time span of 200 years. Describes palaeoecological methods and climatically-induced and man-induced changes, and provides sources of cartographic and documentary data. Methods are illustrated by examples from different hydrogeomorphic regions of Western Europe. Includes four case studies of historical change on the Garonne, the Meuse, the Weser, and the Rhone.