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Meeting Two More Theory

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1 Meeting Two More Theory
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 High sinuosity Cutbanks on outer bends
(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

12 Meandering Stream Profile

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 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 Oxbow cutoff

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

24 Braided Stream Figure

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

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

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 Radius of curvature 10-14 x width

41 Channel migration rate
Related to radius of curvature rc Max rate 2<rc/w<3 If rc too small or too large Shear stress dist to obtain rc btwn 2-3

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: deposition

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

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