Articles | Volume 3, issue 3
Earth Surf. Dynam., 3, 321–331, 2015
Earth Surf. Dynam., 3, 321–331, 2015

Research article 21 Jul 2015

Research article | 21 Jul 2015

Morphology of the Kosi megafan channels

K. Gaurav1, F. Métivier1, O. Devauchelle1, R. Sinha2, H. Chauvet1, M. Houssais3, and H. Bouquerel1 K. Gaurav et al.
  • 1Institute de Physique du Globe de Paris, 1 Rue Jussieu, 75005 Paris CEDEX 05, France
  • 2Department of Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, 208016 UP, India
  • 3Department of Earth and Environmental Science, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

Abstract. We report on a new set of measurements on the morphology of braided and meandering threads of the Kosi megafan, North Bihar, India. All threads develop on a uniform sandy sediment and under a similar climate. The data set is composed of the width, depth, water discharge and grain size of 51 threads. Downstream slopes and sinuosity are also available. Using this data set, we show that braided and meandering threads share common hydraulic geometries. We then use the threshold theory to explain why the aspect ratio of threads is almost naturally detrended, and rescale the data according to this theory. As expected, the rescaled dimensions of braided and meandering threads are weakly correlated to water discharge. We propose that the large dispersion observed, which is common to meandering and braided threads, is the signature of sediment transport, vegetation or cohesion effects.

Short summary
This study mainly focused on the comparison between braided river channels and meandering river channels. We show that the morphology of braided and meandering channels are comparable and their width, depth and slope scale in same way against water discharge. This is the key finding of our study and it has never been tested before.