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In cooperation with the Texas Department of Transportation

Literature Review for Texas Department of Transportation Research Project 0–4695: Guidance for Design in Areas of Extreme Bed-Load Mobility, Edwards Plateau, Texas

By Franklin T. Heitmuller, William H. Asquith, Xing Fang, David B. Thompson, and Keh-Han Wang

U.S. Geological Survey
Open-File Report 2005–1234—ONLINE ONLY
(TxDOT Research Report 0–4695–1)

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Detailed Literature Review of Selected References

Literature Reviews by Lamar University Researchers

Sediment Transport Mechanism in Gravel-Bed Rivers

Hydraulic Geometry of Gravel-Bed Rivers

Sediment Transport Equations for Gravel-Bed Rivers

Laboratory Experiments for Gravel Transport

Literature Reviews by Texas Tech University Researchers

Literature Reviews by University of Houston Researchers

Debris-Flow Management for Low-Water Crossing Protection

Research on Debris-Flow Countermeasures


Literature Reviews by U.S. Geological Survey Researchers



Annotated Bibliography by Lamar University Researchers

Annotated Bibliography by Texas Tech University Researchers

Annotated Bibliography by University of Houston Researchers

Stability Assessment and Debris-Flow Initiation

Debris-Flow Rheology

Debris-Flow Countermeasures

Debris-Flow Magnitude

Debris-Flow Modeling

Design and Construction of Low-Water Crossings

Sediment Sampling and Analysis

Annotated Bibliography by U.S. Geological Survey Researchers


1.   Map showing study area for Texas Department of Transportation research project 0–4695
2.   Graphs showing rainfall hyetographs, streamflow hydrographs, and sediment transport rates for recorded floods
3–6.   Photographs showing:
  3.   Flume with bed rocks used in experiments of Hofland (Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, written commun., 2001)
  4.   Side view of flume and laser doppler used in experiments of Hofland (Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands, written commun., 2001)
  5.   Experimental flume used for study of pressure fluctuations on and in a subsurface gravel layer
  6.   Different devices used for study of pressure fluctuations on and in a subsurface gravel layer
7.   Photograph and diagram showing riprap on hillside in Pacifica, California, and riprap design recommendation
8.   Photographs showing stand-alone flow breakers and flow breakers in debris dam
9.   Photograph and diagram showing debris-flow dam with a screen of steel beams and open debris basin design
10.   Diagram and photograph showing closed debris basin schematic and closed debris basin on Harvey Creek in British Columbia
11.   Diagram and photograph showing deflection berm schematic and deflection berm on Boulder Creek in British Columbia
12.   Photograph and diagram showing gabion deflection wall, Tiburon, California, and design gabion deflection wall
13.   Diagram and photograph showing terminal berm schematic and terminal berm on Cypre Creek in British Columbia
14.   Photograph and diagram showing U.S. Geological Survey flume on Blue River at Blue Forest, Oregon, and schematic of the experiment to study the response of flexible wire rope barriers to debris-flow charges
15.   Photographs showing flexible wire rope barriers with netting and interlocking rings
16.   Photographs showing gravitational flow breaker, five-layer grid flow breaker, step-grid flow breaker, and column flow breaker
17.   Diagram showing flume test apparatus
18.   Diagram showing column flow breaker, beam flow breaker, and grid flow breaker
19.   Image showing processed Landsat Thematic Mapping scene for part of western Arizona


1.   Grain-size range for Oak Creek in Oregon
2.   Pavement and subpavement data for several gravel-bed rivers
3.   Typical flow conditions in several gravel-bed rivers
4.   Hydrologic, hydraulic, and sediment data of recorded floods
5.   Debris-flow management system diagram


A review of the literature addressing sediment transport in gravel-bed river systems and structures designed to control bed-load mobility is provided as part of Texas Department of Transportation research project 0–4695: Guidance for Design in Areas of Extreme Bed-Load Mobility. The study area comprises Edwards, Kimble, and Real Counties in the Edwards Plateau in central Texas. The primary focus of the literature review is on journal articles, edited volumes, and government publications. The literature review provides an outline and foundation for the research project to characterize extreme bed-load mobility in rivers and streams across the study area. The literature review also provides a basis for potential modifications to low-water stream-crossing design in the study area. Major themes within the body of literature include deterministic sediment transport theory and equations, development of methods to measure and analyze fluvial sediment, applications and development of theory in natural channels and flume experiments, and recommendations for river management and structural design. A variety of methods are used to study gravel-bed river characteristics, including surveying channel geometry, particle tracing, bed-material and bed-load sampling, and developing sediment discharge rating curves, among others. Additionally, efforts to manipulate the transport of sediment in gravel-bed rivers include construction of debris traps, velocity control structures, or flow diversion structures. Extensive collection and analysis of field and geographic data, and subsequent parameterization of numerical and physical models, is the most appropriate approach to understanding bed-load transport and structural design in the Edwards Plateau.


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