Articles | Volume 6, issue 3
Earth Surf. Dynam., 6, 583–594, 2018
Earth Surf. Dynam., 6, 583–594, 2018

Research article 25 Jul 2018

Research article | 25 Jul 2018

Evidence of, and a proposed explanation for, bimodal transport states in alluvial rivers

Kieran B. J. Dunne and Douglas J. Jerolmack

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Cited articles

Abernethy, B. and Rutherfurd, I. D.: The distribution and strength of riparian tree roots in relation to riverbank reinforcement, Hydrol. Process., 15, 63–79, 2001. a
Andrews, E. D.: Bed-material entrainment and hydraulic geometry of gravel-bed rivers in Colorado, Geol. Soc. Am. Bull., 95, 371–378, 1984. a, b, c
Blom, A., Chavarrías, V., Ferguson, R. I., and Viparelli, E.: Advance, Retreat, and Halt of Abrupt Gravel-Sand Transitions in Alluvial Rivers, Geophys. Res. Lett., 44, 9751–9760, 2017. a
Braudrick, C. A., Dietrich, W. E., Leverich, G. T., and Sklar, L. S.: Experimental evidence for the conditions necessary to sustain meandering in coarse-bedded rivers, P. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 106, 16936–16941, 2009. a, b
Buffington, J. M. and Montgomery, D. R.: A systematic analysis of eight decades of incipient motion studies, with special reference to gravel-bedded rivers, Water Resour. Res., 33, 1993–2029, 1997. a
Short summary
What controls the size and shape of a river – its width, depth, and slope? The cross-sectional channel geometry of gravel-bedded rivers is understood to be a function of the river's fluid shear stress and the weight of the average particle on its bed; however, there is no satisfactory explanation for sand-bedded rivers. We analyze global datasets and individual river profiles and propose that accounting for riverbank cohesion could allow for an explanation for sand-bedded river channel geometry.