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OCDAG Meeting Two More Theory. Channel patterns, Riffles and Pools OCDAG first meeting June 5, 2007.

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Presentation on theme: "OCDAG Meeting Two More Theory. Channel patterns, Riffles and Pools OCDAG first meeting June 5, 2007."— Presentation transcript:

1 OCDAG Meeting Two More Theory

2 Channel patterns, Riffles and Pools OCDAG first meeting June 5, 2007

3 Downstream changes through a basin Downstream in a basin 3 zones: –1 – erosion – Step pool –2 – transportation –3 - deposition

4 River patterns Identified aerial photographs or maps Channels with self-similar morphometric characteristic that are different from other patterns Alluvial – flow through their own sediments

5 River patterns Most common river patterns –Straight –Meandering –Braided –Wandering –Anastomosed –Step pool

6 Channel patterns Rivers can adjust channel patterns to change roughness and sediment transport Degree of freedom –along with adjusting grainsize, channel shape, channel slope Valley slope is a boundary condition Channel slope related to pattern –meandering channels longer – decreasing slope

7 Straight Uncommon in alluvial settings Some channels confined by bedrock are straight Low energy distributary channels in deltas Most channels tend to meander

8 Meandering Common –(90% of valley length) High sinuosity = length of main channel/ valley length Cutbanks on outer bends Point bars on inner bends Moderate width- depth ratios

9 Meandering common Water flowing on ice commonly forms meandering forms within the ice

10 Meandering types Display different geometry depending on local conditions From regular to highly irregular

11 Itkillik River, Alaska Figure 14.15

12 Meandering Stream Profile Figure 14.15

13 Meandering processes Flow faster and deeper closer to bank Slower and shallower closer to inside of bend

14 Meandering processes Causes deposition on inside bank –point bar Erosion on outside bank –cut bank

15 Lateral accretion (horizontal) Deposition and erosion occur at similar rates Channel moves but width remains constant – dynamic equilibrium

16 Oxbow cutoff Lateral migration of meanders cause segments of channel to become close Water cuts across neck during a flood Channel becomes abandoned to form oxbow lake

17 Meander scar Old channel location

18 Overbank deposition During floods, suspended sediment deposited on floodplains Greatest amount of sediment deposited next to channel –Forms ridge called a levee

19 Floodplain features Floodplains contains many features that record past conditions, channel locations and processes

20 Confined meanders Occur where parallel valley walls block channel migration Point bars most common Eddy accretions in some confined valleys with valley width between 5-10x channel width

21 Braided rivers Channels that divide and rejoin at low flows Dominated by bedload Often gravel but maybe sand

22 Braided rivers Often in front of glaciers High slopes Wide and shallow Large bars within channel, submerged during high flows

23 Braided Stream Figure 14.14

24 Braided Stream Figure 14.14

25 Wandering Added as a class between meandering and braiding with characteristics of both Little Southwest Miramichi Bella Coola

26 Wandering Have single and multiple channel sections Moderate-high width depth Moderate-high sed input Little Southwest Miramichi Bella Coola

27 Anastomosed rivers Originally, braided and anastomosed synonymous Anastomosed pattern like varicose veins

28 Anastomosed rivers Anastomosed reclassed as pattern with: –Interconnected semi-permanent channels –With vegetated islands –Stable banks (DG Smith)

29 Anastomosed rivers Commonly aggrading Channel avulsions and abandonment common Many in Australia South Saskatchewan

30 Continuum concept River patterns are the result of interacting set of continuous variables Patterns intergrade Each pattern associated with a set of variables Problems with classification of rivers

31 Classifying river patterns Schumm (1981, 85) Based on sediment load Bedload –Braided Mixed load –meandering Suspended load –Anastomosed and highly sinuous meandering

32 Classifying river patterns Based on airphoto interp (Mollard) and previous Refinement included 2 axes –Based on sed supply –Sed size and gradient

33 River patterns: slope-discharge River patterns differentiated on basis of slope + discharge ~ energy –Recall, stream power related to slope and discharge In order of decreasing energy –Braided-highest –Meandering-moderate –Anastomosed-low –Straight all over Threshold between meandering and braiding found (Leopold and Wolman 1957)

34 Channel patterns: slope-discharge Widely used But problems: –Used channel slope not valley slope –Therefore, meandering lower slope than braiding

35 Channel patterns: slope-discharge and grain size Grain size was added to the slope-discharge plot Gravel braided higher slope than sand braided Related to sediment trans

36 River patterns: stream power and grain size Sed trans further considered Unit stream power and grain size Nice discrimination but –Criticized for use of estimate for w

37 River patterns: bank strength If bank erosion –More difficult than downstream trans- straight –Less difficult than downstream trans – braided Banks easily eroded High width-depth and deposition of bars Causing thalweg shoaling and the deposition of bars –Meandering in balance Low width-depth and little mid-channel bar formation

38 Channel migration Erosion occurs on cutbanks depo occurs on point bars Rate of depo and erosion approx equal Constant width

39 River patterns: processes Meandering produces patterns within floodplains –Floodplain – valley bottom inundated by flood and often produced by alluvial (river) sediments Ridges and swales produced during channel migration –Leave traces on floodplain

40 Meander geometry Wavelength –10-14 x width Radius of curvature –2-3 x width

41 Channel migration rate Related to radius of curvature r c Max rate 2

42 Flow in meanders Flow generally toward outside bank Asymmetrical shape –w sloping point bar –Steep cutbank –Max depth near cutbank

43 Secondary flow in meanders Flow across the channel Generally observed in curved channels Created due to super elevation at the outside bank –Built by centrifugal force – outward force in curve –Builds pressure gradient - inward force

44 Sed trans in meanders - Applying Physics Particles on a point bar subject to 3 forces: –Drag force downstream –Gravitational force – down slope –Secondary circulation – upslope Finer – –move inwards Coarser –move outwards Sorts sed on point bar

45 Cutoffs – avulsion After threshold sinuosity cutoffs common Neck type most common Become oxbow lakes Increase channel gradient by decreasing length

46 Cutoff When a river cannot trans sed and water downstream because of decreased slope (high sinuosity) Avulsion develops – cutoff Bed slope increases following cutoff Increasing trans meanders often regrow

47 Riffles and pools Successive deep pools and shallow riffles downstream Generally form with gravel beds Occur in both straight and meandering

48 Riffles and pools Slope <1% Pools associated w meander bends –Asymmetric x-section Gravel accumulates at riffles

49 Pool-riffle spacing Spacing between successive downstream pool to pool found to be between –5-7 x channel width Scale related Pool-pool spacing closer where large woody debris in channel or bedrock outcrops – forcing pool

50 Pool-riffle: grain size Pools have smaller grain size than riffles Due to sorting Bed topography and grain size interrelated Some have suggested pools infill with fine material at low flows But fines are flushed at higher flows

51 Pool-riffle: hydraulics At low flows: –Riffles have higher velocity are wider and shallower (high shear stress) –Pools have low velocity, are narrower and deeper (low shear stress)

52 Pool-riffle: hydraulics Then how can pools be deeper (scoured) and riffles shallower (deposition)? One might expect pools to infill and riffles to be eroded until the bed became flat

53 Pool-riffle: hydraulic reversal Velocity reversal –As water slope more similar w increasing stage –At higher flows the velocity increases faster in pools than riffles

54 Pool-riffle: hydraulic reversal Velocity reversal –Leads to greater shear stress in pools than riffles at high flows

55 Pool-riffle: hydraulic reversal Velocity reversal –Causing pools to be scoured and deposition on riffles –Also allows coarser sed to be transported through pools to be deposited on riffles

56 Pool-riffle: No hydraulic reversal However, Studies have found that riffles and pools occur without a velocity or shear stress reversal (Latulippe 2004)

57 Sed trans reversal Sediment transport reversal occurs (Latulippe 2004) Sediment transport increases faster in pools than riffles In pools –Smaller sed + less armouring = greater sed trans –Even with lower shear stress

58 Pool-riffle: formation Convergence at pools –Increased: shear stress scour Divergence at riffles –Decreased: shear stress deposition

59 Pool-riffle Also related to river meandering No one explanation fully satisfactory Combination of processes


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