ABSTRACT Comprehensive field measurements of flow and sedimentary processes have been made with the aid of stable scaffolding bridges spaced along the length of a bend of the River South Esk, Scotland. At river stages between about two‐thirds full and bankfull, channel width, mean depth and mean flow velocity at a cross‐section vary little in the streamwise direction. Flow resistance reaches a maximum at these stages, and the bed topography is stable and in equilibrium with flow and bedload transport. Stable flow geometry is thus related in some way to energy conservation, and to maximization of flow resistance. Detailed observations over a large range of river stages of mean velocity distributions, secondary circulation, water surface configuration, bed shear stress and resistance to flow, bed configurations and bed load transport rates agree with much (but not all) of the comparable published experimental studies and selected theoretical work. Generalized physical models of flow and sediment transport in natural curved channels (Engelund, 1974; Bridge, 1977) are demonstrated to be sound in basis and can simulate the bend studied very well. Although there is a pressing need for further development of these models, the results lend confidence to their use in simulating ancient river sedimentation. Sediment deposited on point bars is the result mainly of bedload transport over a range of near‐bankfull stages. The areal distribution of grain‐size characteristics and bed configurations at these stages give rise, with lateral deposition, to vertical facies sequences that vary substantially in the streamwise direction.
Sedimentology – Wiley
Published: Aug 1, 1982
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