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Evaluation of bedload transport predictions using flow resistance equations to account for macro-roughness in steep mountain streams
Nitsche M, Rickenmann D, Turowski J M, Badoux A, Kirchner J W
Type of Publication:
Reviewed Journal Article
Water Resources Research, 2011, V47, AUG 16 ARTN: W08513, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2011WR010645.
Steep mountain streams typically feature macro-roughness elements like boulders, step-pool sequences, and a varying channel width. Flow resistance because of such roughness elements appears to be an important control on bedload transport rates. Many commonly used bedload transport equations overestimate the transport in steep streams by orders of magnitude. Few approaches take into account the typical macro-roughness elements, and systematic tests of these models with field observations are lacking. In the present study several approaches were considered that allow calculating the contribution of macro-roughness elements to flow resistance. These approaches were combined with bedload transport equations and the predictions were compared to field measurements of discharge, transported bedload volumes, and channel characteristics in 13 Swiss mountain streams. The streams have channel slopes ranging from 2% to 19%, and catchment areas of 0.5 to 170 km(2). For six streams there were time series of sediment yields, mostly measured annually, and for the other seven streams sediment volume estimates were available for large flood events in 2000 and 2005. All tested equation combinations achieved an improvement in bedload prediction compared to a reference equation that was uncorrected for macro-roughness. The prediction accuracy mainly depended on the size and density of the macro-roughness and on flow conditions. The best performance overall was achieved by an empirical approach accounting for macro-roughness, on the basis of an independent data set of flow resistance measurements.
1.5 Ocean/Fresh Water Systems
Hydrology , Water Resources , Modelling , Geomorphology
gravel bed rivers; large scale roughness; sediment transport; instrumented catchment; protruding boulders; load transport; pool channel; woody debris; rock chutes; model
M Nitsche, WSL Swiss Fed Snow Inst Forest & Avalanche Res Sl, Mt Hydrol & Torrents Unit, Zurcherstr 111, CH 8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland ; Research Address: Manuel Nitsche, Dieter Rickenmann, Jens M ; Turowski, Alexandre Badoux, James W ; Kirchner: WSL Swiss Fed Snow Inst Forest & Avalanche Res Sl, Mt Hydrol & Torrents Unit, CH 8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland ; Email: Nitsche@WSL.ch
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