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Bankfull Characteristics of Alluvial Rivers



Gary Parker, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,  will present a talk at the Feb. 23 E&E Forum. Dr. Parker will discuss the Bankfull Characteristics of Alluvial Rivers

Despite the clear evidence of a strong relation between bankfull characteristics of alluvial rivers and local hydrology, the physics behind this relation remains poorly understood. In this study, we present a framework for quantifying the formative processes leading to the establishment of bankfull geometry, in order to gain physical insight into the relation between bankfull characteristics and local hydrology. Together with the equation of momentum balance and a bed material load transport equation, we construct a numerical model, which predicts bankfull discharge and bankfull geometry for a given flow duration curve and upstream sediment supply, as well as other key input parameters such as characteristic slump block lifetime, which controls lateral channel migration rate. In addition, the model also describes the evolution process of bankfull characteristics. We make use of the model to predict the change in bankfull characteristics in response to variety of perturbations, such as change in sediment supply, change in bank vegetation type, and change in flow duration curve. We apply our model to the Minnesota River, MN, USA.






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