Articles | Volume 11, issue 1
Research article
04 Jan 2023
Research article |  | 04 Jan 2023

Coupling between downstream variations of channel width and local pool–riffle bed topography

Shawn M. Chartrand, A. Mark Jellinek, Marwan A. Hassan, and Carles Ferrer-Boix

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Cited articles

Bolla Pittaluga, M., Luchi, R., and Seminara, G.: On the equilibrium profile of river beds, J. Geophys. Res.-Earth, 119, 317–332,, 2014. a, b, c, d
Brew, A., Morgan, J., and Nelson, P.: Bankfull width controls on riffle-pool morphology under conditions of increased sediment supply: Field observations during the Elwha River dam removal project, in: 3rd Joint Federal Interagency Conference on Sedimentation and Hydrologic Modeling, 19–23 April 2015, Reno, NV, USA, p. 11, 2015. a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k
Brown, R. A. and Pasternack, G. B.: Bed and width oscillations form coherent patterns in a partially confined, regulated gravel–cobble-bedded river adjusting to anthropogenic disturbances, Earth Surf. Dynam., 5, 1–20,, 2017. a, b, c, d, e
Byrne, C. F., Pasternack, G. B., Guillon, H., Lane, B. A., and Sandoval-Solis, S.: Channel Constriction Predicts Pool-Riffle Velocity Reversals Across Landscapes, Geophys. Res. Lett., 48, e2021GL094378,, 2021. a, b
Cao, Z., Carling, P., and Oakey, R.: Flow reversal over a natural pool-riffle sequence: a computational study, Earth Surf. Proc. Land., 28, 689–705,, 2003. a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h, i, j, k
Short summary
Rivers with alternating patterns of shallow and deep flows are commonly observed where a river widens and then narrows, respectively. But what if width changes over time? We use a lab experiment to address this question and find it is possible to decrease and then increase river width at a specific location and observe that flows deepen and then shallow consistent with expectations. Our observations can inform river restoration and climate adaptation programs that emphasize river corridors.