River and Lake Boundaries

Surveying Water Boundaries - Second Edition

By James A. Simpson, PE and LS


About the Author

Chapters - Subjects
(Click on each Chapter Heading
for more information)


1 Introduction


  •  Management of Riparian Property
  •  Rectangular Survey System and meanders


2 Navigability


  • Tests for navigability
  •  Navigability reports


3 Patents & Grants


  •  Federal Grants States
  •  Grants Along Nonnavigable Waters


4 Abandoned River Channels


  • Avulsion
  • Man-caused avulsions
  • International boundary river avulsions
  • Avulsion surveys and resurveys


5 Gradual Changes by water action


  • Erosion and accretion
  • What property is riparian
  • Partitions of Accretion


6 Islands and Sandbars


  • Island surveys under the GLO procedures
  • The Island Rule
  • Accretion to islands
  • Island formed from a river bed


7 Boundary survey problems and disputes


  • Ordinary high water mark
  • Adverse possession
  • Madison Basart lands


8 Tools and Techniques


  • Map interpretation
  • Related science applications
  • Hydrology & Hydraulic application
  • Courtrooms & Courtroom techniques




  • Hardbound

  • More than 400 pages

  • A handbook with recommended work procedures and legal aspects of surveying ownership boundaries between uplands and the beds of inland waters.

  • More than 400 maps and illustrations

  • Detailed index

An analysis of the facts with explanatory maps involved on over 70 leading cases on water boundaries from the time of Johnston v. Jones, Railroad v. Schurmeir and St. Louis v. Rutz which were heard in the 1800's to the 1900's and to the present.  Includes facts and analysis of four modern cases tried in the 1990's.


Coverage Includes:


  • How to recognize a water boundary problem.
  • Particularly valuable for meander line problems and ordinary high water mark determination.
  • Conduct of navigability studies, a how-to-do-it approach.
  • Avulsion surveys and Accretion  thoroughly treated.
  • Islands and ownership boundaries of island areas.
  • Famous litigation over water boundaries.
  • Why rivers move their banks.
  • How to estimate the date of past river movement.
  • Quick-reference flow chart as a supplementary study guide.
  • Tips on Courtroom Testimony

Total cost is $64.00, including shipping.


Arizona residents will be charged appropriate sales tax.