Bedload transport in rivers: size matters but so does shape!

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Authors

Mathieu Cassel , Jérôme Lavé, Alain Recking, Jean-René Malavoi, Hervé Piégay 

Abstract

Bedload transport modelling in rivers, which defines the threshold for pebble movement, takes into account the size and density of pebbles, but does not formally consider particle shape. The lack of analyses evaluating the influences of shape and density on particle mobility presents a major deficiency. To address this issue and to compare the relative roles of the density and shape of particles, we performed original sediment transport experiments in an annular flume using molded artificial pebbles equipped with a radio frequency identification tracking system. The particles were designed with four distinct shapes and four different densities while having the same volume, and their speeds and distances traveled under constant hydraulic conditions were analyzed. The results show that particle shape has more influence than particle density on the resting time between particle displacement and the mean traveling distance. For all densities investigated, the particle shape systematically induced differences in travel distance that were strongly correlated (R² = 0.94) with the Sneed and Folks shape index. Such shape influences, although often mentioned, are here quantified for the first time, demonstrating why and how they can be included in bedload transport models.S

DOI

https://doi.org/10.31223/osf.io/3rk2y

Subjects

Earth Sciences, Geomorphology, Hydrology, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Sedimentology

Keywords

Bedload transport modelling, Particle shape, Pebble density, RFID, Sediment tracking, Sphericity

Dates

Published: 2020-08-16 19:36

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License

GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) 2.1

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