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Bed load transport in gravel-bed rivers

Barry, Jeffrey J. 2007. Bed load transport in gravel-bed rivers. Boise, ID: University of Idaho. 164 p. Dissertation.

Bed load transport is a fundamental physical process in alluvial rivers, building and maintaining a channel geometry that reflects both the quantity and timing of water and the volume and caliber of sediment delivered from the watershed. A variety of formulae have been developed to predict bed load transport in gravel-bed rivers, but testing of the equations in natural channels has been fairly limited. Here, I assess the performance of 4 common bed load transport equations (the Meyer-Peter and Muller [1948], Ackers and White [1973], Bagnold [1980], and Parker [1990] equations) using data from a wide range of gravel-bed rivers in Idaho. Substantial differences were found in equation performance, with the transport data best described by a simple power function of discharge. From this, a new bed load transport equation is proposed in which the coefficient and exponent of the power function are parameterized in terms of channel and watershed characteristics. The accuracy of this new equation was evaluated at 17 independent test sites, with results showing that it performs as well or better than the other equations examined.

Keywords: bed load transport, gravel bed rivers, sediment, streamflow, transport equations, flushing flows, channel maintenance flows, effective discharge, Idaho

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Title: RMRS Other Publications: Bed load transport in gravel-bed rivers
Electronic Publish Date: August 31, 2009
Last Update:
August 31, 2009

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