How do braided river dynamics affect sediment storage?



Braided rivers, with their continuously changing network of channels, are highly dynamic systems. Four mechanisms of channel change and evolution are considered the classic mechanisms of braided river formation: development of central bars, conversion of single transverse bars to midchannel braid bars, formation of chutes, and dissection of multiple-braid bars. There have been few studies, though, on how each of these braiding mechanisms contributes to changes in sediment storage and to the dynamics of a river. In one of the first field studies on the topic, Wheaton et al. analyzed repeat topographic surveys conducted over a 5-year period of the River Feshie, an active, braided, gravel bed river in the United Kingdom.