26 Jan 2022
26 Jan 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ESurf.

Numerical modelling of the evolution of a river reach with a complex morphology to help define future sustainable restoration decisions

Rabab Yassine1,2,3,a, Ludovic Cassan1, Hélène Roux1, Olivier Frysou3, and François Pérès2 Rabab Yassine et al.
  • 1Institut de Mécanique des Fluides de Toulouse (IMFT), Université de Toulouse, CNRS, Toulouse, France
  • 2INP/ENIT, LGP, Université de Toulouse, Tarbes, France
  • 3Pays de Lourdes et des Vallées des Gaves, Lourdes, France
  • acurrently at: EGIS Business Unit: Major Structures, Water, Environment, Energy, Montpellier, France

Abstract. The evolution of river morphology is very complicated to predict, especially in the case of mountain and Piedmont rivers with complex morphologies, steep slopes, and heterogeneous grain sizes such as the "Lac des Gaves" (LDG) reach, located within the Gave de Pau river in the Hautes-Pyrénées department, France, has precisely the complex morphological characteristics mentioned above. This reach has gone through severe sediment extractions for over 50 years, leading to the construction of two weirs for riverbed stabilisation. Two large floods resulted in changes in the LDG's hydromorphological characteristics as it went from a single channel river section to a braided river reach. In this study, a 2D hydromorphological model is developed with the TELEMAC-MASCARET system to reproduce the evolution of the channel following a flood that occurred in 2018. The model's validity is assessed by comparing the simulated topographic evolution to the observed one. The results reveal the challenge of choosing well-fitted sediment transport equations and friction laws that would make it possible to reproduce such complex morphology. Even if the exact localisation of the multiple channels forming the braided nature of the LDG was challenging to reproduce, our model could provide reliable volumetric predictions as it reproduces the filling of the LDG correctly. The influence of the two weirs on the river's current and future morphology is also studied. The aim is to provide decision-makers with more reliable predictions to design suitable restoration measures for the LDG reach.

Rabab Yassine et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on esurf-2021-91', Damien KUSS, 18 Mar 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on esurf-2021-91', Clément Misset, 31 Mar 2022
  • RC3: 'Comment on esurf-2021-91', Saraswati Thapa, 03 Apr 2022

Rabab Yassine et al.

Rabab Yassine et al.


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Short summary
The evolution of river morphology is very complicated to predict, especially for mountain rivers with complex morphologies such as the LDG reach in France. A 2D hydromorphological model was developed to reproduce the channel's evolution and provide reliable volumetric predictions while revealing the challenge of choosing adapted sediment transport and friction laws. Our model can provide decision-makers with reliable predictions to design suitable restoration measures for this reach.