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You are on page 1of 38

Sediment Transport

Sediment Transport Principles

Initiation of Motion of a Particle

Gravitational Force

Fluid Forces

Initiation of Bed Movement

Moments

Shields Parameter

Reference and Visual Assessment of First Motion

Deposition / Settling Velocity of Particles in Still Water

Stokes Law

Inertial Law

Suspended Sediment Transport

Significance of Suspended Load

Suspended Sediment Diffusion

Concentration Profiles and the Rouse Number

Sediment Transport Equations

Types of Bed Load Transport Equations

Excess Shear Stress [qb = f(b - c)]

Stochastic (i.e. probabilistic)

Stream Power [qb = f(Q, S) or f( Q/W, S)]

Empirical Correlation

Summary and Comparison of Bed Load Transport Equations

Approaching a Sediment Routing Calculation

Flow in Bends

The radius of curvature

Superelevation

Consequences for sediment transport

3-1

The ability of the channel to entrain and transport sediment depends on the balance between (1)

gravitational forces acting to settle particles on the bed and (2) drag forces that act to either

suspend them in the flow or shove them along downstream.

Consider the forces acting on a grain on the bed surface ...

Assuming that the sediment is cohesionless, opposing forces act on the grain: the submerged

weight of the grain acts to hold it on the bed; and fluid lift and drag forces act to lift, roll, and

slide the grain along the bed. All of these forces are highly variable in nature and the general

problem of sediment transport is an incredibly messy affair -- complex enough to scare off the

greatest mind of this century ...

while working in the customs office I thought deeply about the matter and

concluded it was far too difficult a subject. With some reluctance, I then turned

to Physics as a substitute."

- Albert Einstein (Unpublished Letters)

We will consider only the simplest case of steady uniform flow over a flat bed of well sorted

grains.

3-2

Shields (1936) considered the problem of initiation of motion of a particle with diameter D lying

on a bed of identical grains.

There are 3 ways that grains can move:

1

For case 1, lift forces must exceed the gravity force (i.e. the weight, since gravity itself is an

acceleration)

For case 2, drag forces in the direction of easiest movement must exceed the combined frictional

and gravitation force in the opposite direction

For case 3, the moment of the fluid forces must exceed the moment of the gravitational force.

3-3

Note that the gravitational force acts through the center of gravity, which generally will be close

to the center of the grain.

In contrast, the fluid force does not act through the center of the grain, because the position of

the pivot (and the direction of easiest transport) will vary from grain to grain depending upon the

relation to neighboring grains.

Forces exerted by the fluid vary from grain to grain due to relative exposure to the flow and due

to turbulent velocity fluctuations.

Due to such variation, any criterion that we can establish for the onset of sediment transport will

not be completely deterministic, but will be stochastic (i.e., statistical). Consequently, in

evaluating and applying models for the onset of sediment transport, we need a clear definition of

what is meant by the beginning of sediment movement (a.k.a. incipient motion).

3-4

Gravitational Force

The submerged weight of a sphere (Fg) is given by

Fg = mass * gravity = volume * density * g

(1a)

(1b)

Fg = (/6) (D)3 (s ) g

(2)

The part of this force that opposes sliding of the grain in direction of easiest movement is equal

to

Fg sin

(3)

where is the friction angle of the material on the bed, which takes into account both the

geometry and the frictional properties of the bed material.

is generally about 35 for sand submerged in water.

For large grains on the bed, is smaller than for the average grain size, and for small grains is

larger than the average:

Due to this effect, incipient motion is often calculated for the median bed surface grain size (d50

or D50, depending on notation) to characterize general bed mobility.

3-5

Fluid Forces

A flowing fluid exerts 2 kinds of forces on the bed: drag and lift

1.

viscous drag on the upper exposed surface of the grain acts parallel to the bed

"Drag" is the friction due to the flow moving past the exposed grain surface. It therefore is a

function of: 1) surface roughness of the grain; 2) flow velocity; and 3) the exposed cross-sectional

area of the grain that the flow hits.

FD = CD ( u2/ 2) A

Where:

and

(4)

CD is the drag coefficient

u is flow velocity

A is the cross sectional area of the grain exposed to flow.

In general, we have the problem of what to choose for the drag coefficient CD.

It is also not clear what is appropriate for the velocity and exposed area -- think about a whole

bunch of weird-shaped grains sticking up into flow, whose velocity varies with height above the

bedan analytical nightmare.

Nonetheless, Coleman (1967) showed that the general form of (4) is true for spherical grains

sitting on a bed of identical grains.

3-6

2.

Lift forces due to unequal distribution of dynamic pressure on the grain surface act

normal to the bed

Higher fluid velocities develop over the top of the grain than underneath it, which gives rise to

higher pressures on the lower surface of the grain than on the upper surface, which results in a

net upward force:

The lift force is described by an equation similar to that for the drag force:

FL = CL ( u2/ 2) A

Where:

and

(5)

CL is the lift coefficient

u is flow velocity

A is the cross sectional area of the grain exposed to flow

Again, CL is only derivable for very simple cases and therefore must be experimentally

determined for natural stream beds.

Experiments have shown that static lift forces can be as much as 80% of the drag force at the bed

surface, but that lift forces decrease rapidly with height and are negligible at a few grain heights

above the bed.

3-7

An individual grain begins to move when

FD + FL > Fg

(6)

some grains lie in positions from which they are more easily lifted, slid or rolled

some grains are more exposed to the flow and subjected to larger fluid forces

Considering only drag forces and that friction prevents sliding of grains up and over each

other simplifies the problem to case # 3 above -- that for pivoting a grain up and out of its

position on the bed.

Total moment = product of the total force and distance to the pivot point

Driving :

Resisting :

a1 (FG sin )

a2 (FD cos )

a1 (FG sin ) = a2 (FD cos )

3-8

(7)

FG = c1 D3 g (s )

(8)

The fluid drag force may be assumed to be equal to the product of the average boundary shear

stress (b) and the area of the grain, which may be written as

FD = c2 D2 b

(9)

c2 is a coefficient that accounts for the geometry and packing of the grains (through the exposed

area) and for variation in the drag coefficient.

For initial motion, b = the critical shear stress, c, and so with substitution of equations (8)

and (9) into (7) we get:

a1 c1 D3 g (s ) sin = a2 c2 D2 c cos

(10)

Rearranging (10) in terms of c yields an expression for the critical shear stress required to

initiate motion:

c = (a1 c1 / a2 c2) tan D g (s )

(11)

Collecting all of the constants together into a single constant called *, the dimensionless critical

shear stress, or Shields parameter, this simplifies to

c = * D g (s )

(12)

* = c / [D g (s )]

(13)

Note that * is the critical force divided by the submerged weight of the grain.

3-9

Because of all the uncertainties surrounding particle shape and the exact nature of grain-fluid

interaction, Shields (1936) conducted a set of laboratory experiments to investigate how *

would vary with the roughness Reynolds number (Re * = u*D/ ).

0.06

The left hand, low-roughness-Reynolds-number part of the curve shows that fine grains, hidden

partly within the laminar sublayer, would require a larger shear stress relative to their size than

would somewhat larger, more exposed particles. This range is important in the quieter parts of

large lowland rivers.

For most rivers, we are concerned with the right-hand side of the graph, where Shields data

roughly defines a dimensionless critical shear stress of 0.06.

Hence the initiation of bed movement by turbulent open channel flow is traditionally evaluated

using

c = 0.06 D g (s )

(14)

This relation was widely regarded as adequate for sand-bed rivers and little more was done until

the late 1970s when application of (14) to gravel-bed rivers was thought to be inaccurate because

the wider range of particle sizes on such beds causes a wider range of friction angles. Other

complications due to particle shape, degrees of protrusion, and orientation were also thought to

make Shields' value of 0.06 for * inappropriate for gravel-bed rivers.

3-10

Analyses of the case of non-uniform grain sizes have investigated the effect of changes in the

friction angle and grain protrusion into the flow. The "cleanest" such studies tend to yield

Shields-like results with the important difference that * is a strong function of grain size relative

to the grains that compose the stream bed.

Big particles can move over small particles at relatively low c

Small particles require a relatively higher c to move them across beds of larger particles.

And, as an added complication, the % of sand in a mixed-sediment bed can profoundly alter the

rate of sediment transport (see Wilcock et al., 2001, Experimental study of the transport of

mixed sand and gravelWater Resources Research, 37(12):3349-3358increasing sand content

from 6 to 21% increased sediment transport by 1 to 3 orders of magnitude for the same water

discharge!). Thus, it has proven surprisingly difficult to quantify the critical shear stress for

motion of mixed-grain-size, coarse streambeds.

Two methods of defining the initiation of motion have been commonly used:

1.

Direct observations of the first movement as shear stress increases. This is notoriously

difficult to do, even in a laboratory flume.

2.

Measurement of bed load transport rates (qb) and plotting them against basal shear stress

(b). Extrapolation of the resulting trend to a value of qb = 0 has been the preferred method,

either in the field or lab, but you can only use this for the average particle size.

qb

3-11

observational methodology (Buffington and Montgomery, Water Resources Research, 1997):

Visual-based (i.e. visually observed determination of first transport).

Oak Creek

So what value of * do you use? In part, the range of plausible values should correspond to the

range expressed in the graphs above for your particular applicationis the problem one of first

motion? Or is it that of net bed load transport? In the summary of Buffington and

Montgomery (1997):

Our reanalysis of incipient motion data for bed surface material indicates that (1) much of the scatter in

Shields curves is due to systematic biases that investigators should be aware of when choosing and

comparing dimensionless critical shear stress values from the literature; and (2) there is no definitive *50

value for the rough, turbulent flow characteristic of gravel-bedded rivers, but rather there is a range of

values that differs between investigative methodologies. Our analysis indicates that less emphasis should

be placed on choosing a universal *50 value, while more emphasis should be placed on choosing defendable

values for particular applications, given the observed methodological biases, uses of each approach, and

systematic influences of sources of uncertainty associated with different methods and investigative

conditions.

3-12

Transport of grains occurs when instantaneous vertical component of flow exceeds the settling

velocity of particles.

1

submerged weight of particle

2

viscous fluid resistance and inertia effects

Small and big particles behave differently:

for small particles, viscous resistance dominates; inertia is negligible.

for large particles that fall quickly, inertial forces dominate.

Conditions under which of these effects dominates can be discerned using a particle Reynolds

number (Rep)

Rep = 0 D /

(15)

where 0 is the fall velocity, D is the particle diameter, and is the kinematic viscosity of the

fluid.

Based on experiments, inertia is negligible where Rep < 1: the boundary layer around the particle

is laminar, and the fall is smooth (silt and clay). For Rep > 100, the viscous force is negligible,

the boundary layer around the particle is turbulent, fall is rough, and a wake develops (gravel).

3-13

Stokes Law

Stokes (1851) considered the problem of the balance between the downward force due to the

submerged weight of a particle and a viscous resistance force and thereby got a "law" named after

himself.

Submerged weight of a spherical particle

W = (/6) D3 (s ) g

(16)

V = 3 D 0

(17)

and

(/6) D3 (s ) g = 3 D s

(18)

s = (1/18) D2 (s ) g /

(19)

Hence the fall velocity of small particles (i.e. with no inertial effects; see eqn. 17) is proportional

to the square of the diameter.

Note also that the settling velocity depends upon the viscosity of the fluidcolder temperatures

or high sediment concentrations can make larger particles behave like finer ones and settle

slower, thereby allowing smaller upward velocity fluctuations to keep them suspended above the

stream bed.

3-14

Inertial Law

Particles larger than about 2 mm (i.e., sand) encounter resistance from the "impact" force given

by the momentum per unit time of the cylindrical column of water whose cross-section area is

the projected area of the falling grain.

The impact force is given by

I = (1/4) D2 s2

(20)

The force balance between the submerged weight of this falling particle and the impact force is

given by equating (16) and (20), at which time o = s, the terminal settling velocity:

(/6) D3 (s ) g = (1/4) D2 s2

(21)

s =

( )

2

Dg s

3

(22)

Hence, large grains fall at a rate proportional to the square root of their size, which leads to a

strong size dependence to the fall velocity of particles in streamflow:

Whether particles of a particular size stay suspended in the flow or settle to the bed depends on

the magnitude of upward turbulence.

3-15

Although the morphology of many river beds is set by bed load transport, the majority of

sediment moved by rivers travels as suspended load.

flood plain formation: flux of sediment to flood plain = suspended load + overbank

discharge

At low slopes and discharges, a suspended sediment layer can develop on stream beds and

be incorporated into streambed gravels

suspended sediment particlesso water-quality problems commonly can be analyzed only

by understanding the suspended-sediment transport

z=H

Qsusp. =

C(z) u(z) dz

(23)

z =0

Particles settle via gravity to the bed at a terminal settling velocity, s. As particles settle, a

concentration gradient develops, with more sediment deeper in the flow. However, the upward

component of turbulence results in a mass flux up into the flow column that acts to maintain

suspended sediment transport. The balance between downward settling and upward diffusion is

what establishes the equilibrium concentration gradient and provides a means to develop a

mathematical expression for that concentration.

3-16

Two Processes

1

The downward flux of mass per unit area of a plane parallel to the bed is

Fdown = Cs

(24)

process concentrates sediment towards the bed of the channel.

Eddy exchange between layers in the turbulent flow causes a net flux of sediment

between layers with a difference in sediment concentrationrandom turbulent

interactions between layers cause intermixing at all levels, and therefore a net transport

from areas of high concentration into areas of lower concentration. This net flux per unit

area will tend to lift suspended sediment and is described by:

Fup = Ks (dC/dz)

(25)

where Ks is the sediment mass diffusivity. The negative sign results from flux down the

concentration gradient (i.e. upward in the flow).

3-17

The sediment mass exchange by turbulence is a diffusion process (the flux is proportional to a

potential gradient, in this case the concentration of suspended sediment). This process is

analogous to the exchange of momentum that generates an eddy viscosity in the derivation of

velocity profiles in turbulent flow (see the notes on the derivation of the Law of the Wall). In

the case of momentum exchange, the flux of momentum per unit area of horizontal plane was

the means by which a shear stress was exerted between layers. We first wrote that equation as

= ( + )(du/dz) (Equation 2-31), for which we then argued it could be adequately

represented by = (du/dz). Here, we will define the eddy diffusivity as Km = /, and so:

= Km (du/dz)

(26)

Vanoni made the analogy between the sediment mass diffusivity, Ks, and this corresponding

water eddy momentum diffusivity, Km. He said that

Ks Km

(27)

where should be less than 1 for coarser particles and converges on 1.0 for fine particles.

In other words, = 1 if the movement of sediment just tracks the movement of water, but larger

particles can't keep up, so < 1 for them.

3-18

Recalling the derivation of the Law of the Wall, Prandtl argued that near the bed, b (the

shear stress on the bed) and that Km = k u* z. In this equation, k is Von Karmans constant

(0.4).

With these assumptions, equation (26) can be re-written as:

/ = Km (du/dz) = k u* z (du/dz)

(30)

u* =

or

b / =u*2

(31)

(du/dz) = u* / kz

(32)

Returning to equation (26) and by analogy to the Law of the Wall, at any level in the flow:

/ = (b /) [(H z)/H]

(33)

/ = u*2 [(H z)/H]

(34)

Substitution of equation (26) into the left hand side of equation (34) yields:

Km(du/dz) = u*2 [(H z)/H]

3-19

(35)

Km u*/kz = u*2 [(H z)/H]

(36)

Km = u* kz [(H z)/H]

(37)

This expression for the water eddy momentum diffusivity (Km), together with the assumption

that Km Ks for fine particles (recall 1.0), allows us to return to equation (25), the expression

for the upward flux of suspended sediment due to turbulent diffusion:

Fup = Ks(dC/dz)

(38)

= Km(dC/dz)

= k z u* [(H z)/H] (dC/dz)

Now we can consider the situation in which an equilibrium has been established between the two

vertical sediment fluxes (i) settling of particles and (ii) turbulent exchange of sediment mass.

At this point (i) = (ii), Fup = Fdown, and

C s = k z u* [(H z)/H] (dC/dz)

where C is varying with z; i.e., C = C(z).

3-20

(39)

dC / C = [s / k z u*] [H /(H z)] dz

(40)

The solution of equation (40) is one of those for which the labor of finding does not enhance the

utility of the result. So take it on faith (but check if you must) that:

ln C = [s / k u*] ln[H /(H z)] + C

(41)

where C is the constant of integration. If we choose the value of C cleverly, this equation can

be rewritten as:

ln C = ln Ca + [s / k u*] ln{[H /(H z)][a/(H a)]}

(42)

where Ca is the concentration at some (any) one elevation above the bed at which z = a.

Finally, this can be simplified as:

a

H z

C ( z) = Ca

H a

z

u* k

(43)

assuming that = 1. This more clearly expresses the form of the predicted relation for the

concentration profile of suspended sediment as a power function of the distance from the bed

surface.

Note that in equation (43), the term a/(Ha) is less than 1 in the lower of the flow (where,

typically, any significant concentration of suspended sediment will be measured). The product

with the term (Hz)/z is also less than one over most of the flow depth, and so raising it to an

exponential power much greater than one will drive the value of C(z) towards zero. Thus the

maximum value of the suspended sediment concentration will be determined by the empirically

fit magnitude of Ca (and where in the flow that value was measured), but the rapidity with which

that concentration gradient declines with distance away from the bed will be determined by the

magnitude of the exponent, s/ku* the larger this number (i.e. the coarser the sediment, or the

lower the shear) the more abruptly will the concentration decline away from the bed.

3-21

This variable, s/ku*, is dimensionless (velocity velocity) and is known as the Rouse number

(p = s/ku*).

In general, values of the Rouse number greater than about 2.5 lead to a condition of very little to

no suspended sediment. In contrast, values of the Rouse number less than about 0.25 predict

those grain sizes that will move as wash load, fully supported by the flow.

In between these values lies the range of partial suspended sediment transport. A Rouse number

less than 1.8 is sometimes suggested at an appropriate functional threshold for determining

whether a given grain size will move in suspension (but note that the process itself is not

threshold-driven!).

Note also that smaller particles are predicted to be relatively evenly distributed through the flow

column and that larger particles should be found only close to the bed. Although the form of

equation (43) requires that the suspended sediment concentration be zero at the top of the water

column (where z = H) regardless of particle size, we know from observations that this is not

always the case. Which assumption(s) of the mathematical development is (are) not met in

practice?

3-22

1. By fitting the equation to sediment concentration profiles measured with point samplers at

various elevations above the bed.

depth-integrated suspended load sampler

3. By estimating the bed load flux (via equations or samplers), estimating the top of this bed

load layer as a in (43), and converting the bed load flux through depth increment 0 <z <a

into a concentration, Ca.

Where sediment movement in the flow column is determined by the Rouse number

(p = s/ku*), the following conditions are anticipated:

p > 2.5

Grains are trying to go into suspension, but are not quite able to stay up in

the flow field

p < 1.8

Full suspension

Hence, you can use the previous derivations of the settling velocity and shear velocity to

determine what grain sizes will travel as suspended or bed load based on the ratio of the settling

velocity (s) to the shear velocity (u*).

3-23

2

s = (1/18) D (s ) g /

(19)

u* = (b/)0.5

(44)

and by definition,

The largest size of suspended material can be determined from the condition of s = u*, which

implies a Rouse number equal to 2.5, i.e.

s/ku* = 2.5

0.5

A similar approach using p < 1.8 would solve for the largest size of wash load.

3-24

(45)

We are going to focus on bed load transport (even though suspended load dominates total

sediment flux) because the beds of rivers are made of bed load sediment and the morphology of

rivers is set by bed load transport.

Bed load moves immediately above the bed in a rolling or saltating (jumping) mode.

Bed load is generally > 0.2 mm in diameter, although the size of material that travels in

suspension (suspended load) varies with the power and turbulence of the flow.

Bed load transport equations ignore the fact that grains move via turbulent bursts that must

penetrate the laminar sub-layer, which shields grains from turbulence and movement of the flow.

Because of this we back off from the force balance approach and develop relations between

observed sediment transport rates and mean measures such as Q, S, W, h (or d), D50, or b.

Each bed load transport formula has been developed and calibrated from specific conditions of b

S, D, and qbso the basic rule of thumb is to use the one whose conditions best approximate

your river.

Be smart about how you apply sediment transport equationsfor example, if field evidence

shows that transport only occurs in the middle of a river, then dont use mean flow depth based

on whole cross-section. Instead, use flow depth over the active transport zone or break the

channel into zones with different flow depths. Attempts to calculate sediment transport are

replete with cookbook application of formulas without any physical insight into the relevant

conditions. Do the geomorphology first, and then try to attach some numbers to it!

3-25

Geologists and hydrologists have proposed numerous bed load transport equations; they fall into

four general types:

1.

2.

3.

4.

Empirical Correlation

Most bed load transport equations represent qb as the difference between the applied and critical

parameters required for initiation of grain mobility:

qb (b c)

(46)

where b is the effective boundary shear stress (i.e. applied to the bed sediment), c is the critical

boundary shear stress required for grain movement, and is an empirical exponent, typically >

1.

a)

Du Boys (1879)

qb = b (b o)

(47)

where = (0.173)/(D50)3/4 with D50 in mm, and o is almost (but not exactly) Shields c

(which, recall, is a function of D50).

3-26

b)

Meyer-Peter equation

An empirical relation based on a large number of experiments with uniform sediment 329 mm,

in flumes 20200 cm wide, and depths < 20 cm. So: coarse sand, no bedforms, and grain

roughness total roughness.

The equation is traditionally (and somewhat confusingly) expressed in different units, depending

on the system of measurement:

For the SI system, the units of qb (sediment discharge) are kilograms of sediment

transported per second per meter of channel width; q (water discharge) is in units of cubic meters

per second per meter of channel width; and D50 (median sediment diameter) is in units of meters

(not mm!).

For the English system, the units of qb are pounds of sediment transported per second per

foot of channel width (note that this is a unit of weight, not mass as for the SI version); q is in

units of cubic feet per second per foot of channel width; and D50 (median sediment diameter) is

in units of feet.

The equation is:

SI units:

English units:

(48a)

(48b)

Historically, the MP equation has been used to evaluate the bed load transport rate of different

fractions of the bed load sediment population by substituting different values for D50 and

multiplying the resulting qb by the fraction of total bed sediment represented by this size range.

This is an effective way to investigate the routing of different sediment sizes down a channel.

Unfortunately, such an approach has no theoretical justification and, in fact, has many reasons

for why it is not correct. Such details have not stopped this practice!

3-27

c)

An empirical relation based on a large number of experiments with uniform, graded, and

lightweight materials; a more theoretically based expansion of the original Meyer-Peter equation.

They formally suggested that a single effective grain diameter (D50) be used to characterize mixed

sediment and that the total shear stress be modified to account for grain roughness, reducing the

shear stress available for transporting sediment.

Their empirical data were still flume-based but with a wider range of variables: grain sizes

between 0.4 and 30 mm, depths between 1 and 120 cm, and a ratio of grain roughness to total

roughness of 0.5 to 1.

Their equation is:

n

s

1

2

8 grain roughness

q b =

ntotal roughness

s

2

b 0.047( s )gD50

(49)

qb is in units of weight per second per unit width of channel, and the entire equation is

dimensionally homogeneous (so we dont need to worry about which measurement system we are

usingjust be consistent!). Note that the last term in the brackets looks very much like Shields

equation for c with a slightly lower value for * (0.047 instead of 0.06). Note also that when this

term exceeds the b term, transport isnt negativeit just doesnt happen because the threshold

of motion is presumed to have not yet been reached.

s and are densities of sediment and water (2650 and 1000 kg/m3), g is gravitational

acceleration (9.81 m/s2). Grain and total roughnesses are represented with Mannings n, where

the grain roughness is defined by the Strickler (1923) equation:

ngrain roughness = 0.0151 D501/6

(50)

where D50 is in mm, and ntotal roughness is determined by any of the methods normally used to

estimate Mannings n.

3-28

d)

Parker (1990)

Another empirical equation, based on analysis of data from Oak Creek, Oregon, a small paved

gravel-bed channel. You will note that the equation does not specify a threshold for incipient

sediment transport. Their analysis assumes subsurface sediment is the source of bed load, but

this can occur only once the bed surface pavement is breached.

Define first a dimensionless bed load transport rate, w*:

qb s

w* = 1

3

g 2 (dS ) 2

(51)

or,

qb = g

3

(dS ) 2

w*

s

(52)

Note that this is also dimensionally homogeneous, but that qb is in units of volume of sediment

per second per unit width .

Now the only problem is to determine w*. This is where the empirical data from Oak Creek

came in: Parker expressed the data in two ranges, depending on the value of the dimensionless

shear stress of the stream as expressed by yet another dimensionless parameter, 50:

50 =

where

b

gdS

0.0876 =

0.0876

( s )gDspvt 50

( s )gDspvt 50

(53)

Dspvt50 is the median diameter of the subpavement, not the surface sediment.

w* = 0

w* = 0.0025 exp[14.2(50 1) 9.28(50 1)2]

w* = 13.69 [1 (0.853/50)]4.5

3-29

for 50 < 1

for 1 < 50 < 1.6

(54a)

(54b)

(54c)

Stochastic Approach

The Einstein (1950) bed load transport formula is the most complex procedure developed for

natural streams.

It is a probabilistic approach, based on sand bed rivers in the Mississippi basin. He assumed that

the number of particles eroded per unit time equals the number of particles on the bed times the

probability of any one being eroded in an a unit time. We can consider sediment transport in 2

ways: the number of grains leaving a unit area in a unit period of time, and the number of grains

entering an area in a unit period of time. The former (leaving grains) is expressed in terms of the

probability of entrainment and the settling time of a grain once entrained (notice this assumes

that saltation is the mode transport); the latter (entering grains) is expressed in terms of the bed

load transport rate (what we will eventually want to solve for) and the length that a saltating

grain will hop.

At steady state, these two rates are equal. The probability of entrainment is a function of the lift

forces and the buoyant weight of the particles. It has been determined by experiment and is

expressed as a flow-intensity index. With corrections for grain hiding and hydraulic roughness,

a transport-intensity function is read off a graph relating it to the corrected flow-intensity index

and then converted into a bed load transport rate for the given particle size of interest. As with

the Meyer-Peter equation, this equation is commonly run for discrete grain sizes under the

assumption that each moves independently of the others. Insofar as this is a saltating system,

presumably without a pavement layer, this assumption may not be as ill-conceived as in gravelbed systems.

3-30

Bagnold (1960, 1966) developed an approach to bed load transport prediction that is based on

stream power per unit channel width (), which is defined as:

= g (Q/w) S

(55)

He argued, reasonably, that was an appropriate measure of transport. Recall, from classical

mechanics, that

Work = force x distance

Power = work/unit time = force x distance/time = force x velocity

And because stress = force/area,

Power/area (Bagnolds , the unit stream power) = stress x velocity

He also defined the power of the moving sediment per unit bed area as:

(s )g (Vseds / Vbed) tan useds

where Vseds / Vbed is the concentration (by volume, V) of sediments on the bed. The entire first

term of this expression looks very much like the frictional strength part of the slope-stability

equation of classical landslide mechanics with , Bagnolds slipping angle, playing the role of an

angle of internal friction.

Bagnolds key assumption is that stream power is transmitted to moving sediment via an

efficiency factor, eb, that ranges from 0 to 100%. With a value of 0 there is no sediment motion;

at 100%, there would be no dissipation of energy in the system at all except from the movement

of grains (which is obviously impossible). USGS Professional Paper 422H tabulates presumed eb

values as a function of mean water velocity.

The method as a whole has never seen much application except in the analysis of very sedimentrich flows (such as debris flows).

3-31

Empirical Correlations

Bagnold was convinced that stream power was the correct theoretical approach to the problem of

sediment transport, but assessing the efficiency factor was very problematic and the focus of

many subsequent papers. After nearly 2 decades, Bagnold gave up. Instead, he decided that

even if an analytic form could not be defined, there surely were enough data to find an empirical

relationship between unit stream power and sediment transport. In recognition of other

potentially influential factors, he also included flow depth and grain size of the bed load in his

final correlation.

His equation was expressed in terms of reference conditions (marked with an asterisk, and so

given values) and the subject conditions (unasterisked, user-supplied). The three terms of the

equation are for excess unit stream power, flow depth, and modal grain size (normally, median

can be substituted here). The equation is:

3

o 2 Y

ib = ib*

( o )* Y*

D

D*

(56)

ib is in units of (watch closely!) the submerged mass rate of sediment transport per unit width of

channel. To convert to dry mass, multiply by [s/(s-)], or about 1.6. To convert to weight,

multiply by g (i.e. 9.8 m/sec2 in SI units).

Reference (i.e. *) values are as follows:

ib* = 0.1 kg/m-sec

( - o)* = 0.5 kg/m-sec

Y* = 0.1 m

D* = 1.1 x 10-3 m (about 1 mm, but remember that the units are METERS!)

For your stream, Y = average flow depth and D = modal grain size (both in m).

is the unit stream power, calculated from the definition (equation (55) above). o is the unit

stream power at the threshold of motion; Bagnold assumed a Shields parameter of 0.04 and

substituted that into the definition of as the product of shear stress and mean velocity to get:

o = 290 D1.5 log[12Y/D]

3-32

(57)

function of both the assumptions and the size of the sediments and

flow conditions used to extract the empirical coefficients (a.k.a.

fudge factors). In particular, those with explicit data sets have

an obvious established range; Bagnolds original stream-power

approach required very concentrated flows to work well, and the

stochastic approach requires abundant saltating grains (i.e. sand)

and good measurements.

Methods may vary by an order of magnitude (or more) in their

predictions. Sometimes as good an estimate can be made by

assessing the basin sediment yield and assuming that 1-10 percent

of that will travel as bed load. Also beware of supply-limited

systems, which violate assumptions of these methods.

See:

Gomez and Church, Wat. Res. Research, v. 25(6), p. 1161-1186

Most sediment transport formulae characteristically overpredict

sediment flux by 2-10 times due to:

available for transport

Best equations in general appear to be Bagnold (for gravel-bed rivers)

and Einstein (for sand-bed rivers).

Parker equation is a great favorite among theoretical geomorphologists

and is good most of the time, but at other times gives really wacky

answers

3-33

1.

Sediment Supply

2.

Is there another source of bed load that moves over an immobile substrate?

Need to determine source and texture of sediment for your problem

3.

Low-flow fine sediment movement

Bed armoring

4.

pavement or no pavement

Consult Gomez and Church for equation that best fits your channel.

5.

Do calculations for simple, straight, plane-bed reach if possible as you can get a valid

average flow depth (H).

Dont always cross-section average - i.e., dont use average depth in a non-rectangular

channel.

3-34

Flow in Bends

The radius of curvature

Definition: the radius of the arc that traces out the meander path (not really circular, but thats

ok).

By observation, many rivers have a ratio rc/w = 2 or 3; studies of channel migration

rates suggest that rivers migrate more rapidly as this ratio increases (i.e. straight rivers migrate

fastest).

Why is this? Studies on pipe flow suggested that frictional resistance was lowest in this

range; other flume studies note that at radii much different from this range, either the upstream

limb migrates more rapidly than the downstream limb (too large) or visa versa (too small). Either

way, the result is convergence on this rangeso its not that the river somehow prefers this

curvature, its just that other curvatures are less stable on the landscape.

3-35

Superelevation

The centrifugal force of the water accelerating around the bend must be balanced by

something (or else it would continue to climb ever-higher)its the cross-stream pressure

gradient imparted by the superelevation (h):

u 2 h

rc

= gh

h

w

(58)

u2w

rc g

(59)

And so:

h =

Note the typical scale of the superelevation: rc / w is about 2 or 3; for a river with a flow of

about 1 m/s, h is a few cm.

The pressure gradient balances the average flow velocity, but near the surface the local

velocity exceeds the average velocity and so the centrifugal force exceeds the pressure; at depth,

average velocity exceeds the local velocity and so the pressure exceeds the centrifugal force:

So bottom flow is towards the inside of the bend. This is secondary flow (primary flow is

in the downstream direction).

3-36

3-37

First, note the basic conditions that establish the spatial patterns of sediment erosion and

deposition:

Deposition occurs where b is decreasing in the downstream direction.

You wont find grains of a particular size unless they can be transported to their point of

deposition. So, in general, you will find the coarsest bed particles along the path of max (or

where max was when the channel was at a sediment-transporting stage!).

In addition, bedforms tend to channelize the secondary flow (because it moves along the

bed), and so the idealized pattern can be modified by the sedimentary deposition that results

from it: the flow shapes the bed, but the bed alters the flow. Any such system presents

opportunities for both negative feedback (i.e. stable channel form) and positive feedback (i.e.

rapid instability and migration).

3-38

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