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Earth Surface Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2019-23
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2019-23
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 27 May 2019

Submitted as: research article | 27 May 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Earth Surface Dynamics (ESurf).

Stabilising Large Grains in Aggrading Steep Channels

William H. Booker and Brett C. Eaton William H. Booker and Brett C. Eaton
  • Geography Department, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Abstract. It is understood that the interaction between sediment supply and discharge drives first-order behaviour of deposits. The influence of the grain size distribution shape over the mobility and resultant evolution is, however, unclear. Four experiments were conducted in a scaled physical model for two grain size distributions, analogous to a one-dimensional self-formed alluvial fan. We demonstrate the unsuitability of the median grain size as a predictor of deposit behaviour at flows when the material is not equally mobile. The results instead suggest, during conditions of unequal mobility, that largest grains control the transport efficiency of the overall sediment mixture, and thus also the morphodynamics of the deposit and its tendency to store or evacuate material. Deposits appear to show a dependence upon the rate of material supply more strongly when the likelihood of its motion is less equally distributed (i.e., under partial transport conditions). If the coarse fraction (e.g., greater than 84th percentile) is instead mobile due to increased discharge or because of their relative size, transport rates will increase and the behaviour of the mixtures converge to a common state, with morphology influenced by the material's mobility.

William H. Booker and Brett C. Eaton
Interactive discussion
Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
William H. Booker and Brett C. Eaton
Data sets

Data/code Used in ESurf Manuscript W. Booker https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2672918

Model code and software

Data/code Used in ESurf Manuscript W. Booker https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.2672918

Video supplement

Morphodynamics of GSD1 under low flow and sediment feed rates W. Booker https://doi.org/10.5446/41771

Morphodynamics of GSD1 under high flow and sediment feed rates W. Booker https://doi.org/10.5446/41772

Morphodynamics of GSD1 under low flow and high sediment feed rates W. Booker https://doi.org/10.5446/41773

Morphodynamics of GSD1 under high flow and low sediment feed rates W. Booker https://doi.org/10.5446/41774

Morphodynamics of GSD2 under low flow and sediment feed rates W. Booker https://doi.org/10.5446/41775

Morphodynamics of GSD2 under high flow and sediment feed rates W. Booker https://doi.org/10.5446/41776

Morphodynamics of GSD2 under high flow and low sediment feed rates W. Booker https://doi.org/10.5446/41777

Morphodynamics of GSD2 under low flow and high sediment feed rates W. Booker https://doi.org/10.5446/41778

William H. Booker and Brett C. Eaton
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Latest update: 21 Oct 2019
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Short summary
Using experiments, we found that river slope depends upon the presence of larger grains and the rate at which water is supplied; these two factors control how much, how far and at what rate all grains move. Ultimately it is the latter that is more important; if it is increased enough the presence of the larger grains does not matter. This goes against the prevailing theory of the most important grain size, and may alter how we interpret river deposits to explain their formation.
Using experiments, we found that river slope depends upon the presence of larger grains and the...
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