Incipient motion and particle transport in gravel-bed streams Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/hm50tv466

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  • The incipient motion of sediment particles in gravel-bed rivers is a very important process. It represents the difference between bed stability and bed mobility. A field study was conducted in Oak Creek, Oregon to investigate incipient motion of individual particles in gravel-bed streams. Investigation was also made of the incipient motion of individual gravel particles in the armor layer, using painted gravel placed on the bed of the stream and recovered after successive high flows. The effect of gravel particle shape was examined for a wide range of flow conditions to determine its significance on incipient motion. The result of analysis indicates a wide variation in particle shapes present. Incipient motion and general transport were found to be generally independent of particle shape regardless of particle sizes. A sample of bed material may contain a mixture of shapes such as well-rounded, oval, flat, disc-like, pencil-shaped, angular, and block-like. These are not likely to move in identical manners during transport nor to start motion at the same flow condition. This leads to questions about the role of shape in predicting incipient motion and equal mobility in gravel-bed streams. The study suggests that gravel particles initiate motion in a manner that is independent of particle shape. One explanation may be that for a natural bed surface many particles rest in orientations that give them the best: protection against disturbance, probably a result of their coming to rest gradually during a period of decreasing flows, rather than being randomly dumped. But even when tracer particles were placed randomly in the bed surface there was no evident selectively for initiation of motion on the basis of particle shape. It can be concluded from analysis based on the methods of Parker et al. and Komar that there is room for both equal mobility and flow-competence evaluations. However, the equal mobility concept is best applied for conditions near incipient motion and the flow-competence concept is best applied for larger flows and general bedload transport. Furthermore, with an armored bed, such as that at Oak Creek, there is a tendency for a more-nearly equal mobility (or equivalent) for the normalized transport rates for the various size fractions when incipient motion and moderate bedload transport occurs.
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