Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2021-16
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-2021-16
09 Mar 2021
 | 09 Mar 2021
Status: this preprint has been withdrawn by the authors.

The transport of sediment mixtures examined with a birth-death model for grain-size fractions

Shawn M. Chartrand and David Jon Furbish

Abstract. Bedload transport of sediment mixtures in mountain streams is challenging to predict, with implications for understanding how rivers form and respond to environmental change. Experimental work shows that collective particle entrainment is an important contributing mechanism of bedload transport, but questions remain. We use four different time series of experimental sediment flux for granular particles 4–32 mm in diameter to indirectly examine the role of collective mobilization. Flux was measured at a fixed position in space using an imaging light table. The light table provides a flux measurement that is sampled at a resolution of 1 Hz, and for total time durations ranging from 75 to 240 min. Experimental conditions include periods of statistical steady-state, and transient adjustments due to changes of the upstream supply of water and sediment. We find that despite the contrasting experimental conditions, the time series encode a consistent transport behaviour within the Fourier domain: the transport of finer grain size populations has increasing power density for decreasing frequency, whereas the transport of larger grain size populations has a near constant power density across all frequencies. Hence, smaller particle sizes dominate the power spectra. We seek an explanation for this result, and elaborate on a probabilistic birth-death model introduced to the field by Christophe Ancey and colleagues. Analysis using the expanded birth-death model provides two important results. The transport of smaller particles includes collective entrainment terms that represent grain mobilization due to smaller and larger particle sizes colliding with the streambed surface. In contrast, the transport of larger particles includes collective entrainment terms limited to larger particle sizes. The size-dependent collective controls on particle mobilization is an important finding, and we show that it offers a testable explanation for observed flux differences between smaller and larger particle sizes, common to gravel-bed mountain streams. As a result, our work motivates the need to better understand collective entrainment within the context of granular sediment transport along mountain stream beds.

This preprint has been withdrawn.

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Shawn M. Chartrand and David Jon Furbish

Interactive discussion

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on esurf-2021-16', Chenge An, 21 Mar 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on esurf-2021-16', Christophe Ancey, 23 Mar 2021
  • EC1: 'Editorial Comment on esurf-2021-16', Jens Turowski, 21 Apr 2021
  • AC2: 'Comment on esurf-2021-16', Shawn Chartrand, 02 Jul 2021

Interactive discussion

Status: closed

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on esurf-2021-16', Chenge An, 21 Mar 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on esurf-2021-16', Christophe Ancey, 23 Mar 2021
  • EC1: 'Editorial Comment on esurf-2021-16', Jens Turowski, 21 Apr 2021
  • AC2: 'Comment on esurf-2021-16', Shawn Chartrand, 02 Jul 2021
Shawn M. Chartrand and David Jon Furbish

Data sets

Experimental sediment transport data using a light table device and analysis scripts Shawn M. Chartrand, David Jon Furbish, and Marwan A. Hassan https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.12268727.v4

Video supplement

Gravel mixture sediment transport videos from a straight-walled flum Shawn M. Chartrand https://doi.org/10.17632/4z7fspfcpv.1

Shawn M. Chartrand and David Jon Furbish

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Latest update: 20 May 2024
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This preprint has been withdrawn.

Short summary
Sediment particles are transported along the bottom of rivers during floods. Descriptions of the transport process are commonly restricted to the strength of the water flow. In our research we use mathematical theory and data from laboratory experiments to explore whether sediment particles colliding with the river bed can help explain our observations of transport. We learn that particle collisions are likely an important component of the transport process and we offer thoughts for future work.