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Bedload transport in rivers, size matters but so does shape

Abstract : Bedload transport modelling in rivers takes into account the size and density of pebbles to estimate particle mobility, but does not formally consider particle shape. To address this issue and to compare the relative roles of the density and shape of particles, we performed original sediment transport experiments in an annular flume using molded artificial pebbles equipped with a radio frequency identification tracking system. The particles were designed with four distinct shapes and four different densities while having the same volume, and their speeds and distances traveled under constant hydraulic conditions were analyzed. The results show that particle shape has more influence than particle density on the resting time between particle displacement and the mean traveling distance. For all densities investigated, the particle shape systematically induced differences in travel distance that were strongly correlated (R-2 = 0.94) with the Sneed and Folks shape index. Such shape influences, although often mentioned, are here quantified for the first time, demonstrating why and how they can be included in bedload transport models.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03135776
Contributor : Mathieu Cassel <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, February 9, 2021 - 11:34:53 AM
Last modification on : Sunday, July 18, 2021 - 3:05:03 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Monday, May 10, 2021 - 6:32:00 PM

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Cassel et al. - 2021 - Bedload...
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Mathieu Cassel, Jerome Lave, Alain Recking, Jean-René Malavoi, Hervé Piégay. Bedload transport in rivers, size matters but so does shape. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2021, 11 (1), ⟨10.1038/s41598-020-79930-7⟩. ⟨hal-03135776⟩

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