Main content area

Morphology and dynamics of active bed forms in the Terek R. Channel

Alekseevskii, N. I., Sidorchuk, A. Yu.
Water resources 2017 v.44 no.2 pp. 226-236
alluvium, asymmetry, dunes, floods, morphometry, probability distribution, rivers, sand, sediment transport, summer
Active bed forms of three major classes are formed in Terek lower reaches during summer floods. They include ripples, dunes of the first order, and dunes of the second order (from smaller to larger), which commonly form an incomplete hierarchy. The morphology of the bed forms is essentially stochastic and can be adequately described by probability distribution functions of bed form characteristics for some narrow ranges of hydraulic flow characteristics. At the same time, the mean values of bed form morphometric characteristics (length, height, and asymmetry) show stable relationships with flow velocity and depth. The celerity of active dunes can be adequately described by a modified Snishchenko–Kopaliani formula. The channelforming sediments that move as bed forms in Terek lower reaches account for 7% of sediment transport rate of all channel-forming sediments, a value near the lower limit for rivers with sand alluvium.