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A coupled sediment routing and lateral migration model for gravel-bed rivers

Authors

  • Emma K. Raven,

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience, Department of Geography, Durham University, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK
    • Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience, Department of Geography, Durham University, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK.
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  • Rob Ferguson,

    1. Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience, Department of Geography, Durham University, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK
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  • Stuart N. Lane

    1. Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience, Department of Geography, Durham University, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK
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Abstract

We describe additions made to a multi-size sediment routing model enabling it to simulate width adjustment simultaneously alongside bed aggradation/incision and fining/coarsening. The model is intended for use in single thread gravel-bed rivers over annual to decadal timescales and for reach lengths of 1–10 km. It uses a split-channel approach with separate calculations of flow and sediment transport in the left and right sides of the channel. Bank erosion is treated as a function of excess shear stress with bank accretion occurring when shear stress falls below a second, low, threshold. A curvature function redistributes shear stress to either side of the channel. We illustrate the model through applications to a 5·6-km reach of the upper River Wharfe in northern England. The sediment routing component with default parameter values gives excellent agreement with field data on downstream fining and down-reach reduction in bedload flux, and the width-adjustment components with approximate calibration to match maximum observed rates of bank shifting give plausible patterns of local change. The approach may be useful for exploring interactions between sediment delivery, river management and channel change in upland settings. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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