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Fine bed material in pools of natural gravel bed channelsAuthor(s): Thomas E. Lisle; Sue Hilton
Source: Water Resources Research 35(4): 1291-1304.
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionAbstract - Natural gravel bed channels commonly contain a fine mode of sand and fine gravel that fills voids of the bed framework of coarser gravel. If the supply of fine bed material exceeds the storage capacity of framework voids, excess fine material forms surficial patches, which can be voluminous in pools during low flow. Data collected in 34 natural channels in northern California and southern Oregon indicate the following. (1) Fine material on the bed surface can be readily winnowed and transported at high particle velocities, much of it in intermittent suspension. Fine material can dominate the bed material load in gravel bed channels, but its abundance on the bed surface is limited by its increasing mobility as hiding places among prominent particles are filled. (2) Fine material in pools is typically replaced many times per year. (3) The proportion V* of residual pool volume filled with fine bed material correlates with annual sediment yield in channels whose parent material produces abundant sandy sediment. (4) Temporal and spatial changes in V* appear to correspond to variations in the balance between sediment inputs and water discharge. These results suggest that V* can be used to monitor and evaluate the supply of excess fine material in gravel bed channels and that samples of fine material in pools can characterize the fine, mobile mode of bed material load.
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CitationLisle, Thomas E.; Hilton, Sue. 1999. Fine bed material in pools of natural gravel bed channels. Water Resources Research 35(4): 1291-1304.
KeywordsPSW4351, fine gravel, pools, bed material, sediment load, stream channel, hillslopes, erosion, transport rates, bed load
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