Laboratory experiments were performed with nearly uniform fluvial gravel (D50=9mm, D10=5mm and D90=13mm) to analyse the relationship between stream power and bed load transport rate in gravel-bed braided rivers at high grain Reynolds numbers. The values of the unit-width dimensionless bed-load rate qb* and unit-width dimensionless stream power ω* were evaluated in equilibrium conditions based on ten different experimental runs. Then, they were plotted along with values obtained during particularly representative field studies documented in the literature, and a regression law was derived. For comparison, a regression analysis was performed using the data obtained from laboratory experiments characterized by smaller grain sizes and, therefore, referring to relatively low grain Reynolds numbers. A numerical integration of Exner's equation was performed to reconstruct the local and time-dependent functional dependence of qb* and ω*. The results led to the following conclusions: 1) At equilibrium, the reach-averaged bed load transport rate is related to the reach-averaged stream power by different regression laws at high and low grain Reynolds numbers. Additionally, the transition from bed to suspended load transport is accelerated by low Re*, with the corresponding bed load discharge increasing with stream power at a lower, linear rate. 2) When tested against the gravel laboratory measurements, the high Re* power law derived in the present study performs considerably better than do previous formulas. 3) The longitudinal variability of the section-averaged equilibrium stream power is much more pronounced than that characterizing the bed load rate, at least for high Re*. Thus, the stream power and its local-scale heterogeneity seem to be directly responsible for transverse sediment re-distribution and, ultimately, for the determination of the spatial and temporal scales that characterize the gravel bedforms. 4) Finally, the stochastic interpretation of the wetted bed elevation function mapped in a particularly representative sample run reveals that gravel-bed transport and braiding are associated with the persistence of multiple equilibrium energy states due to the presence of truly non-stationary, local-scale pseudo-periodicity.

An experimental analysis of bed load transport in gravel-bed braided rivers with high grain Reynolds numbers

De Vincenzo, Annamaria;Pannone, Marilena
2016

Abstract

Laboratory experiments were performed with nearly uniform fluvial gravel (D50=9mm, D10=5mm and D90=13mm) to analyse the relationship between stream power and bed load transport rate in gravel-bed braided rivers at high grain Reynolds numbers. The values of the unit-width dimensionless bed-load rate qb* and unit-width dimensionless stream power ω* were evaluated in equilibrium conditions based on ten different experimental runs. Then, they were plotted along with values obtained during particularly representative field studies documented in the literature, and a regression law was derived. For comparison, a regression analysis was performed using the data obtained from laboratory experiments characterized by smaller grain sizes and, therefore, referring to relatively low grain Reynolds numbers. A numerical integration of Exner's equation was performed to reconstruct the local and time-dependent functional dependence of qb* and ω*. The results led to the following conclusions: 1) At equilibrium, the reach-averaged bed load transport rate is related to the reach-averaged stream power by different regression laws at high and low grain Reynolds numbers. Additionally, the transition from bed to suspended load transport is accelerated by low Re*, with the corresponding bed load discharge increasing with stream power at a lower, linear rate. 2) When tested against the gravel laboratory measurements, the high Re* power law derived in the present study performs considerably better than do previous formulas. 3) The longitudinal variability of the section-averaged equilibrium stream power is much more pronounced than that characterizing the bed load rate, at least for high Re*. Thus, the stream power and its local-scale heterogeneity seem to be directly responsible for transverse sediment re-distribution and, ultimately, for the determination of the spatial and temporal scales that characterize the gravel bedforms. 4) Finally, the stochastic interpretation of the wetted bed elevation function mapped in a particularly representative sample run reveals that gravel-bed transport and braiding are associated with the persistence of multiple equilibrium energy states due to the presence of truly non-stationary, local-scale pseudo-periodicity.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11563/136185
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