Dynamics of channel bifurcations in noncohesive sediments

  • Federici B
  • Paola C
  • 63

    Readers

    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 75

    Citations

    Citations of this article.

Abstract

[1] Braided rivers produce flow confluences and divergences (diffluences) in roughly equal numbers, but braided river research has focused mainly on confluences. Divergences, however, are of equal importance dynamically: they are sites of formation of central bars and the development of flow divisions that can steer the flow toward one part of the braided network or another. In a series of experiments on flow in isolated, well-defined bifurcations, we found that although a central bar always develops, the divided flow may continue to flow on both sides of the bar ("stable'' bifurcation) or may eventually be forced entirely to one side of the bar or the other ("unstable'' bifurcation). We found that an unstable bifurcation forms when the flow field is characterized by both a low Shields stress and a nonuniform incoming flow. We also found that divergences with erodible banks tend to an equilibrium configuration that depends mainly on the widening ratio of the channel.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Bank erosion
  • Bars
  • Braiding
  • Channel bifurcations
  • Stability

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Authors

  • Bianca Federici

  • Chris Paola

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free