Incipient Motion and Sediment Transport

by Chih Ted Yang, (A.M.ASCE), Assoc. Professional Sci.; Illinois State Water Survey, and Water Resour. Ctr., Univ. of Illinois, Urbana, IL,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1973, Vol. 99, Issue 10, Pg. 1679-1704

Document Type: Journal Paper


A review of existing literature reveals some disadvantages of using Shields diagram as the criterion for incipient motion of sediment particles on an alluvial bed. A new criterion based on average flow velocity, fall velocity, and shear velocity Reynolds number is proposed herein with the supporting data collected by different investigators. This new criterion is used to calculate the dimensionless critical unit stream power in a dimensionless unit stream power equation for sediment transport. The dimensionless unit stream power is the ratio of the time rate of potential energy expenditure per unit weight of water and the terminal fall velocity of the sediment. More than 1,000 sets of data from both laboratory flumes and natural streams published by different authors are used to support this dimensionless equation for sediment transport.

Subject Headings: Sediment transport | Hydro power | Fluid velocity | Alluvial channels | Particles | Bed materials | Shear flow | Shear stress

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