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Controls on local scour and deposition induced by obstacles in fluvial environments

Euler, Thomas, Herget, Jürgen
Catena 2012 v.91 pp. 35-46
Reynolds number, laboratory experimentation, morphometry, sediment transport, sediments
Obstacles in fluvial environments cause flow separation and the emergence of three-dimensional flow fields that can lead to scour and deposition, even when no general sediment transport at the bed occurs. Resulting forms are commonly denoted as ‘fluvial obstacle marks’. The morphology and dynamics of these forms is depended on obstacle-, flow- and sediment characteristics. As no generally approved approach for analysis of these forms exists yet, a process-based method is developed that relates certain dependent morphometric variables to an adapted obstacle Reynolds number. The novel approach was applied by conducting experiments in a laboratory flume and validated against other laboratory and field data. The results of this work have shown a significant relationship between the morphometry of fluvial obstacle marks and obstacle Reynolds number, especially when morphometric variables were combined. Further validation, calibration and extension and of this approach will help to adequately asses the influence of obstacles in the fluvial environment on micro- and meso-scale processes of sediment transport.