Journal article Open Access

Sand Transport over an Immobile Gravel Substrate

Kuhnle, R. A.; Wren, D. G.; Langendoen, E. J.; Rigby, J. R.

Experiments were conducted in a laboratory flume channel to evaluate the effects of increasing amounts of sand on its transport over and through an immobile coarse gravel bed. Detailed measurements of sand transport rate, bed texture, and bed topography were collected for four different discharges at approximately the same flow depth of 0.2 m for 11 different elevations of sand in the gravel bed. Sand transport was measured using both physical samples and a density cell. For a given flow rate, increases in the elevation of sand relative to gravel resulted in decreases of bed shear stress from 32–44% and increases in sand transport by three orders of magnitude. For the highest two discharges, the sand merged into a small number of long and low bed forms that translated through and over the gravel bed. A collapse of the transport data was accomplished by relating the sand transport rate to the bed shear stress scaled by the cumulative probability distribution function of the gravel surface evaluated at the height of the mean sand bed.

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