Results of an experimental study of the incipient motion of streambeds composed of sand/gravel sediment mixtures are reported and compared with the earlier findings for uniform sediments. The experiments were conducted in an 8 m long by 0.30 m wide glass‐walled tilting flume and an 18 m long by 0.80–1.10 m wide trapezoidal concrete channel. A reference transport method is used to define the beginning of bed material movement. The experiments demonstrate that the incipient motion of individual size fractions within a mixture is controlled by their relative size with respect to median size (intergranular effects), mixture standard deviation (effect of the shape of grain‐size distribution), absolute value of median size (absolute size effect), and bed slope (effect of relative depth on overall flow resistance). The shear stress at incipient motion of median‐sized grains in mixtures is found to be the same as for uniform sediment of this size. The present findings are consistent with available flume and field data. A technique for calculating the critical shear stress of different grain sizes in coarse uniform sediments and unimodal/weakly bimodal sediment mixtures is proposed.
Water Resources Research – Wiley
Published: Aug 1, 2001
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