Modeling Alluvial Channel Bed Transients

by Victor Miguel Ponce, (M.ASCE), Asst. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, Colo.,
Daryl B. Simons, (F.ASCE), Assoc. Dean for Research; Coll. of Engrg., and Prof. of Civ. Engrg., Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, Colo.,
Jesus Lopez Garcia, Ingeniero de Caminos; Servicio Geologico de Obras Publicas, Madrid, Spain; formerly, Grad. Research Asst., Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, Col.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 3, Pg. 245-256

Document Type: Journal Paper


A mathematical model is developed to simulate bed transient formation and propagation in alluvial channels. The model is of the known-discharge type, i.e., within one time step, the water discharge is considered steady. This technique allows for the implicit numerical modeling of bed transient propagation using longer time steps that would otherwise be possible using the conventional sequential routing method. Instability due to ill-posing of the sediment transport function is circumvented by using a power relation between bed material transport and mean flow velocity. Errors in mass conservation due to linearization at the boundary are eliminated by using a nonlinear formulation of the upstream boundary condition.

Subject Headings: Alluvial channels | River and stream beds | Mathematical models | Sediment transport | Hydraulic models | Transient response | Water discharge | Numerical models

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