Sci.Adv.: The exceptional sediment load of fine-grained dispersal systems: Example of the Yellow River, China

Hongbo MaJeffrey A. Nittrouer, Kensuke NaitoXudong FuYuanfeng ZhangAndrew J. MoodieYuanjian WangBaosheng Wu and Gary Parker

http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/3/5/e1603114

Sedimentary dispersal systems with fine-grained beds are common, yet the physics of sediment movement within them remains poorly constrained. We analyze sediment transport data for the best-documented, fine-grained river worldwide, the Huanghe (Yellow River) of China, where sediment flux is underpredicted by an order of magnitude according to well-accepted sediment transport relations. Our theoretical framework, bolstered by field observations, demonstrates that the Huanghe tends toward upper-stage plane bed, yielding minimal form drag, thus markedly enhancing sediment transport efficiency. We present a sediment transport formulation applicable to all river systems with silt to coarse-sand beds. This formulation demonstrates a remarkably sensitive dependence on grain size within a certain narrow range and therefore has special relevance to silt-sand fluvial systems, particularly those affected by dams.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.