Mechanics and modeling of flow, sediment transport and morphologic change in riverine lateral separation zones

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Lateral separation zones or eddies in rivers are critically important features for sediment storage and for a variety of roles they play in riparian and aquatic ecology. As part of a larger effort to predict the morphology of lateral separation zones in the Colorado River in Grand Canyon for a selection of sediment supply and discharge scenarios, we evaluated the performance of two modeling techniques for predicting flow, sediment transport, and morphodynamics in eddies using field data. In order to understand the relative roles of various exchange mechanisms between the main channel and eddies, we applied two-dimensional unsteady and three-dimensional unsteady models in a reach containing a lateral separation zone. Both models were developed, calibrated, and evaluated using detailed field data comprising acoustic-Doppler velocity measurements, water-surface elevations, sediment concentration by size class, and bathymetry measured during a flood event in the Colorado River. Model results and measurements are used to develop a better understanding of the mechanics of water and sediment exchange between the eddy and the mainstem and other factors that control the morphology of the reach.

Study Area

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Mechanics and modeling of flow, sediment transport and morphologic change in riverine lateral separation zones
Year Published 2010
Language English
Publisher Advisory Committee on Water Information
Contributing office(s) National Research Program - Central Branch
Description 12 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Conference publication
Larger Work Title Proceedings of the 2nd joint federal interagency conference (9th federal interagency sedimentation conference and 4th federal interagency hydrologic modeling conference)
Conference Title 2nd Joint Federal Interagency Conference (9th Federal Interagency Sedimentation Conference and 4th Federal Interagency Hydrologic Modeling Conference)
Conference Location Las Vegas, NV
Conference Date June 27 – July 1, 2010
Country United States
State Arizona
Other Geospatial Colorado River, Grand Canyon
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