Articles | Volume 12, issue 1
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-12-367-2024
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-12-367-2024
Research article
 | 
15 Feb 2024
Research article |  | 15 Feb 2024

Dimensionless argument: a narrow grain size range near 2 mm plays a special role in river sediment transport and morphodynamics

Gary Parker, Chenge An, Michael P. Lamb, Marcelo H. Garcia, Elizabeth H. Dingle, and Jeremy G. Venditti

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Latest update: 23 May 2024
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Short summary
River morphology has traditionally been divided by the size 2 mm. We use dimensionless arguments to show that particles in the 1–5 mm range (i) are the finest range not easily suspended by alluvial flood flows, (ii) are transported preferentially over coarser gravel, and (iii), within limits, are also transported preferentially over sand. We show how fluid viscosity mediates the special status of sediment in this range.