Journal article

Sediment replenishment: Influence of the geometrical configuration on the morphological evolution of channel-bed

Dams trap sediment in the upstream reservoir, which may lead to river bed armoring, streambank erosion and failure, channel incision and reduction of the morphological diversity in the downstream river reaches. The replenishment of sediment is a mitigation measure for this problem to be applied in river reaches downstream of dams. Previously performed field experiments always used one single volume of sediment replenishment. To explore different alternatives, the replenished volume was here divided in four deposits with the motivation to influence also the morphological evolution downstream. Six different geometrical configurations together with three submergence conditions of sediment replenishment were tested for the first time in a laboratory experiment and are herein discussed. The results of the sediment replenishment mitigation technique are described in terms of occupied surface of the flume bed and the temporal evolution of erosion and transport of the introduced sediments. It is shown that, under our experimental conditions, complete submersion of the replenishment volume results in complete erosion of the placed sediment, with a high persistence of the added material along the channel length. The geometrical configuration of the replenishment volume plays a key role for the evolution of bed-forms downstream. Parallel configurations lead to a wider spread of material across the channel. Alternated configurations are suitable to produce sediment clustering and high persistence of placed material in the channel. Observed periodic mounds, considered as the initiating condition for alternate bars, follow a wavelength related to the length of the replenishment when the replenishment volumes are alternating.


Related material