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Investigation of Headcut Erosion in Cohesive Soils

Ashourian, Masoumeh, Shafai-Bejestan, Mahmood, Babazadeh, Hossein
Water resources 2018 v.45 no.1 pp. 69-78
clay, sediment yield, silt, soil, soil erosion
Headcut, known as knickpoint migration too, is developed due to sudden change in channel bed followed by bed scour and erosion which progressing upstream. The results are the downstream morphological change and transporting massive sediment to the downstream reservoir. Most of the past studies focus on non-cohesive soils, although many problems occur because of cohesive soils. In this study, 10 different samples of cohesive soils in long term consolidation with different composition of silt and clay were tested under different circumstances of waterfall height and flow velocity to investigate the neck migration rate and the sediment yield. Tests were continued to reach a constant migration rate. One of the effective phenomena in all tests was tensional cracks on soil surface. The size and number of these cracks have inverse relation with percent of clay. Because of these cracks, massive erosion occurs at the beginning of all tests. By reducing percent of clay, headcut, waterfall height and sediment yield were increased and by reducing waterfall height and flow velocity these parameters were reduced. In lower percent of clay, headcut erosion will occur quickly with more slants. Caving phenomenon was not observed in any tests and massive erosion rate was more quickly.