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Earth Surface Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2020-51
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2020-51
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  20 Jul 2020

20 Jul 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal ESurf.

Short communication: Multiscalar drag decomposition in fluvial systems using a transform-roughness correlation (TRC) approach

David L. Adams1,2 and Andrea Zampiron3 David L. Adams and Andrea Zampiron
  • 1Department of Geography, The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • 2School of Geography, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
  • 3Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Abstract. In natural open-channel flows over complex surfaces, a wide range of superimposed roughness elements may contribute to flow resistance. Gravel-bed rivers present a particularly interesting example of this kind of multiscalar flow resistance problem, as both individual grains and bedforms can potentially be important roughness elements. In this paper, we propose a novel method of estimating the relative contribution of different physical scales of river bed topography to the total drag, using a transform-roughness correlation (TRC) approach. The technique, which requires only a single longitudinal profile, consists of (1) a wavelet transform which decomposes the surface into roughness elements occurring at different wavelengths, and (2) a `roughness correlation' that estimates the drag associated with each wavelength based on its geometry alone, expressed as ks. We apply the TRC approach to original and published laboratory experiments and show that the multiscalar drag decomposition yields estimates of grain- and form-drag that are consistent with estimates in channels with similar morphologies. Also, we demonstrate that the roughness correlation may be used to estimate total flow resistance via a conventional equation, suggesting that it could replace representative roughness values such as median grain size or the standard deviation of elevations. An improved understanding of how various scales contribute to total flow resistance may lead to advances in hydraulics as well as channel morphodynamics.

David L. Adams and Andrea Zampiron

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David L. Adams and Andrea Zampiron

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Code and sample data for TRC approach David L. Adams https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3879652

David L. Adams and Andrea Zampiron

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Short summary
This paper presents a novel method of estimating the relative contribution of different physical scales of river bed topography to the total drag, expressed as ks. The approach requires only a longitudinal profile with sufficient resolution and spatial coverage to include the important roughness elements. The estimates of ks may be used in conventional flow resistance equations, in place of representative roughness metrics such as grain size or the standard deviation of elevations.
This paper presents a novel method of estimating the relative contribution of different physical...
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