The Effect of Sand Supply on Transport Rates in a Gravel-Bed Channel

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

J. Hydraulic Engineering

Publication Date



Sand Supply, Transport Rates, Gravel-Bed Channel


In a series of flume experiments using constant discharge, flow depth, and gravel feed rate, sand feed rates were varied from 0.16 to 6.1 times that of gravel. The bed slope decreased with increasing sand supply, indicating that the gravel could be transported at the same rate, along with increasing amounts of sand, at smaller shear stresses. Prediction of river response to an increase in sediment supply requires prediction of mutual changes in bed composition and transport, and therefore a transport model defined in terms of the grain size of the bed surface. A recent model provides satisfactory prediction of the experimental observations and indicates the general response of gravel beds to increased sand supply. An increase in sand supply may increase the sand content of the river bed and the mobility of gravel fractions, which can lead to bed degradation and preferential evacuation of these sediments from the river.

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