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The influence of sediment size, relative grain size and channel slope on initiation of sediment motion in boulder bed rivers. A lichenometric study

Abstract : Sediment transport of four boulder bed rivers is studied using lichenometry. The presence of lichens on boulders in the river channel is used to date the last mobilization of the blocks. Using size frequency diagrams and regional growth curves calibrated with dated reference points it is possible to determine the fl ood event responsible for the last mobilization of each boulder with lichens present. The specifi c stream power of fl ood events over the last 60 years is then calculated, and thresholds of sediment transport based on the sediment size are calculated. The results from the four studied rivers are compared to similar relationships in the literature. Sediment motion thresholds appear to be very variable within the same type of river (mountainous boulder bed rivers). The critical specifi c stream power necessary to mobilize a particle of a given diameter may vary by up to 10 times from one river to the next. Bed sediment size and river slope may explain this large range of stream powers. Calculation of the relative size of the transported particles (Di/D50) also shows that both hiding and protrusion effects, as well as channels slope, are important factors in sediment transport.
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Submitted on : Friday, May 15, 2020 - 6:42:09 PM
Last modification on : Monday, October 26, 2020 - 4:52:02 PM

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F. Gob, J.P. Bravard, F. Petit. The influence of sediment size, relative grain size and channel slope on initiation of sediment motion in boulder bed rivers. A lichenometric study. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, Wiley, 2010, 35 (13), pp.1535-1547. ⟨10.1002/esp.1994⟩. ⟨hal-02594482⟩

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