Evaluation of bedload yield in gravel-bed rivers using scour chains and painted tracers: The case of the Esconavette Torrent (Southern French Prealps)

Frédéric Liébault, Jonathan B. Laronne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations

Abstract

The event-based bedload yields of a small gravel-bed river (the Esconavette Torrent) have been concomitantly determined by surveying coarse sediment deposition in a trap and by monitoring the active layer of the bed and the displacement of painted tracers. The geometry of the active layer was obtained by means of scour chains and topographic resurveys. The cumulative bedload yield of 4 flow events measured in the trap and by the chain and tracer approach was respectively 174 and 153 m3. The consistency between those two field-based estimates confirms that the deployment of scour chains and tracers in gravel-bed rivers have the potential to provide a robust assessment of bedload transport. This potential theoretically depends on the spatial density of scour chains and the ability of the tracing technique to fit the grain size distribution of the active layer. The results demonstrate that a distance between scour chains that represents 10-15 % of the active channel width is sufficient for a rather accurate determination of event bedload transport rate by reconstruction of scour and fill throughout a cross-section.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-34
Number of pages12
JournalGeodinamica Acta
Volume21
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2008

Keywords

  • Bedload yield
  • Morphological approach
  • Scour chains
  • Tracers

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