Tropical montane streams produce a disproportionately large amount of the sediment and carbon that reaches coastal regions and have often been considered to be distinct ﬂuvial systems. They typically drain orogenic terrains that have not been recently glaciated, but have undergone climatic changes throughout the Pleistocene and currently receive 2000–3000 mm or more of precipitation each year. Steep gradient reaches with numerous boulders, rapids, and waterfalls that alternate with lower gradient reaches ﬂowing over weathered rock or a thin veneer of coarse alluvium characterize these streams. Although their morphology and hydrology have distinctive characteristics, they do not appear to have diagnostic landforms that can be solely attributed to their low-latitude locations. While they are relatively understudied, an emerging view is that their distinctiveness results from a combination of high rates of chemical and physical weathering and a high frequency of signiﬁcant geomorphic events rather than the absolute magnitudes of individual ﬂoods or other geomorphic processes. Their bedrock reaches and abundance of large and relatively immobile boulders combined with their ability to transport ﬁner-grained sediment also suggest that the restorative processes in these systems may be less responsive than in other ﬂuvial systems.
Scatena, F.N., Gupta A. (2011): Streams of the Montane Humid Tropics. Treatise on Geomorphology. Editors E. Wohl. Academic Press, San Diego Ca. Vol 9..