Lateral sediment transport by bedforms in a meander bend



Bedforms and their migration are among the most important features determining bed load transport on point bars in sand-bedded rivers. A case study has been carried out in the Danish river Gels Å in a bend with equilibrium point bar topography. Bedforms (dunes) were repeatedly surveyed to determine the bedform migration on the point bar surface. Bedforms occur in two categories in the bend: primary dunes and secondary dunes migrating transversely in the troughs between primary dunes. The study shows that the migration of these bedforms can account for the entire lateral transport known to concentrate the transport in the convex half of the cross section at the bend exit. The bedform transport is induced by both dune categories, partly by turning of the primary dunes towards the convex bank and partly by the migration of secondary dunes. In certain areas, the two categories operate together and thus make the lateral transport particularly large; it is shown that almost 60 per cent of the entire lateral transport in the bend takes place within less than 30 per cent of the streamwise extent of the point bar.