Erosion of Steep River Banks and Time Evolution Towards Equilibrium Channel Shape

by Agnes Kovacs, Univ of Minnesota, United States,
Gary Parker, Univ of Minnesota, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering Mechanics


A numerical analysis of the time evolution of straight river channels is presented. The bed and bank, material is taken to be coarse, non-cohesive and uniform in size. As a result of the interaction of the flow and the bed, the cross-sectional shape of the river evolves in time toward a dynamic equilibrium shape. This equilibrium is characterized by constant width, vanishing sediment transport in the transverse direction, and small but non-vanishing streamwise transport rate of bed sediment. The model successfully describes the time relaxation of an initially trapezoidal channel toward the equilibrium shape, as evidenced by comparison with experimental data.

Subject Headings: Sediment transport | Erosion | River bank stabilization | Equilibrium | Transport rates | Finite element method | Fluid flow | Channel flow

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