This research examines variations in bankfull cross-sections along a steep stream of the Dolomites (Cordevole stream, Belluno, Northern Italy). Field measurements were conducted to determine variations in the channel top-width at bankfull stage in relation to the drainage area and to the length of the flow path. After grouping the bed morphologies according to the Montgomery and Buffington (Montgomery, D.R., Buffington, J.M., 1997. Channel-reach morphology in mountain drainage basins. Geol. Soc. of Am. Bull. 109 (5) 596–611.) classification, we analyzed the increase in bankfull width for the dominant stream units (cascades, step pools, isolated pools and colluvial reaches at the head of the basin). We observed that the morphologies more related to the drainage area are colluvial reaches and pools; the less adaptable are steps and cascades. These differences likely result from the absence of lateral constriction in the colluvial reaches and pools, whereas the presence of coarser sediments in the bed can affect the transverse adjustments in steps and reaches dominated by cascades. Linkages between cross-section geometry and parameters related to flow (i.e. drainage area and stream power) have been analyzed together with the distribution of surface grain sizes and its coarsening pattern. The existence of distinctive bankfull widths between different morphological units points out the degree of susceptibility to be modeled according to the channel slope, reference diameter ( D 90 ), and contributing area.
Geomorphology – Elsevier
Published: Jan 30, 2007
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