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Key hydraulic drivers and patterns of fine sediment accumulation in gravel streambeds: A conceptual framework illustrated with a case study from the Kiewa River, Australia

Casas-Mulet, Roser, Alfredsen, Knut T., McCluskey, Alexander H. and Stewardson, Michael J. 2017. Key hydraulic drivers and patterns of fine sediment accumulation in gravel streambeds: A conceptual framework illustrated with a case study from the Kiewa River, Australia. Geomorphology 299 , pp. 152-164. 10.1016/j.geomorph.2017.08.032

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Abstract

Fine sediment processes in gravel beds may have significant impacts to overall river ecosystem function. In addition to gravitational deposition, horizontal intragravel transport has been recognized to influence fine sediment accumulation. However, the specific hydraulic mechanisms and origin of fine sediment movement are not clearly identified. The purpose of this study was to investigate key hydraulic drivers and patterns of fine sediment accumulation. Using a conceptual framework to set the scene, we implemented an experimental setup in a gravel lateral bar subject to irregular flow fluctuations in the Kiewa River (Australia). We installed nine sets of sediment collector pairs and piezometers into the gravel. Each pair included one horizontally and one horizontally-vertically perforated collector. Mid-range, rather than peak flows, covering the site in water drove fine sediment deposited in the collectors. We estimated horizontal contribution to final deposition as 59%. Such contribution resulted from shear stresses > 3 N m− 2 promoting streamwise near-bed turbulence at the water-sediment interface during flooded conditions. Despite high subsurface hydraulic gradients, intragravel transport in the lower sediment layers via Darcy flow did not show any influence to fine sediment deposition. Our findings contribute to an improved understanding of fine sediment accumulation processes, key for overall river ecosystem functioning, particularly in regulated rivers.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
Water Research Institute (WATER)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0169-555X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 19 September 2017
Date of Acceptance: 14 August 2017
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2018 09:24
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/104825

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