Articles | Volume 7, issue 4
Earth Surf. Dynam., 7, 911–927, 2019
Earth Surf. Dynam., 7, 911–927, 2019
Research article
01 Oct 2019
Research article | 01 Oct 2019

How does the downstream boundary affect avulsion dynamics in a laboratory bifurcation?

Gerard Salter et al.

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Cited articles

Adami, L., Bertoldi, W., and Zolezzi, G.: Multidecadal dynamics of alternate bars in the Alpine Rhine River, Water Resour. Res., 52, 8938–8955,, 2016. a, b
Bertoldi, W.: Life of a bifurcation in a gravel-bed braided river, Earth Surf. Proc. Land., 37, 1327–1336,, 2012. a
Bertoldi, W. and Tubino, M.: River bifurcations: Experimental observations on equilibrium configurations, Water Resour. Res., 43, W10437,, 2007. a, b, c
Bertoldi, W., Zanoni, L., Miori, S., Repetto, R., and Tubino, M.: Interaction between migrating bars and bifurcations in gravel bed rivers, Water Resour. Res., 45, W06418,, 2009. a, b, c, d, e, f, g, h
Bolla Pittaluga, M., Repetto, R., and Tubino, M.: Channel bifurcation in braided rivers: Equilibrium configurations and stability, Water Resour. Res., 39, 1046,, 2003. a, b, c, d, e, f
Short summary
Bifurcations are the switches that steer water and sediment in delta and multithread river networks, playing an important role in shaping the landscape. In lab experiments, we found that when the downstream branches grow through time, frequent switching in the water and sediment partitioning occurs. In contrast, once sediment freely exits the downstream boundary, long periods of time when one branch dominates occur; however, unlike our theoretical prediction, these are not permanent.