Channel adjustments to a succession of water pulses in gravel bed rivers
Rights accessOpen Access
All rights reserved. This work is protected by the corresponding intellectual and industrial property rights. Without prejudice to any existing legal exemptions, reproduction, distribution, public communication or transformation of this work are prohibited without permission of the copyright holder
Gravel bed rivers commonly exhibit a coarse surface armor resulting from a complex history of interactions between flow and sediment supply. The evolution of the surface texture under single storm events or under steady flow conditions has been studied by a number of researchers. However, the role of successive floods on the surface texture evolution is still poorly understood. An experimental campaign in an 18 m-long 1 m-wide flume has been designed to study these issues. Eight consecutive runs, each one consisting of a low-flow period of variable duration followed by a sudden flood (water pulse) lasting 1.5 h, have been conducted. The total duration of the experiment was 46 h. The initial bed surface was created during a 280 h-long experiment focused on the influence of episodic sediment supply on channel adjustments. Our experiments represent a realistic armored and structured beds found in mountain gravel bed rivers. The armor surface texture persists over the duration of the experiment. The experiment exhibits downstream fining of the bed-surface texture. It was found that sorting processes were affected by the duration of low-flow between flood pulses. Since bed load transport is influenced by sediment sorting, the evolution of bed load transport is impacted by the frequency of the water pulses: short interpulse durations reduce the time over which fine material (transported as bed load) can be winnowed. This, in turn, contributes to declining reduction of the bed load transport over time while the sediment storage increases.
CitationFerrer-Boix, C.; Hassan, M.A. Channel adjustments to a succession of water pulses in gravel bed rivers. "Water resources research", Novembre 2015, vol. 51, núm. 11, p. 8773-8790.