A retrospective analysis of river bed deformation over a 34-year period has been carried out for the first time for the Ural River in West Kazakhstan, in different environmental conditions. Horizontal shifts of the Ural riverbed have been defined according to space shots made in 2012. Erosion risk, as a result of horizontal displacement of the river bed has been determined in West Kazakhstan. A geomorphologic description of the Ural River bed and floodplain, and the dynamics of channel processes in the river within West Kazakhstan are given. The probable pattern of channel realignments for the Ural River has been determined. The paper describes the results of map compilation and related data consolidation with respect to the horizontal river bed shifts in West Kazakhstan, and includes a review of characteristics of the hydrologic and hydrochemical regimes of the river. The main river bed types, which are typical of flat terrain, are also discussed. West Kazakhstan is a region where there is medium-level ecologic stress on the river beds and floodplains.

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