Changes in bedload transport rate associated with episodic sediment supply in a Japanese headwater channel




We conducted field monitoring of bedload transport rate associated with experimental sediment release in a natural channel to clarify behavior of the supplied sediment on mixed size bed. Observation of bedload rate at two sites along the 30 m channel reach revealed that downstream migration of finer particles delay compared with coarser particles. Ratio of the bedload sediment that deposited during the migration was higher for finer sediments. These behaviors of the mixed size particles were clear during passage of the sediment wave without changes in water discharge. Flashing peak of discharge that caused artificially by opening of the dam gate did not destroy channel bed structure including steps and pools formed by coarser sediments, and only small amount of bedload was mobilized. Both reach scale channel features including steps, pools, and riffles as well as fine scale features (i.e., armour coat) likely increased critical shear stress of particles and decreased bedload rate during our experiment. Extreme sediment supply induced two types of sediment deposition; (1) filling the pools in reach sales and (2) the intrusion of fine particles into the coarser sediment that formed an armour layer. The all grain size fractions can deposit as type (1) when shear stress of stream water is not enough to entrain bedload particles, while deposition type (2) occurs when finer sediment pass over channel bed on which armour coat is well-developed. Deposition of finer sediment into coarser sediment that forms armour coat is affected by grain size distribution of bed surface sediment. Thus, impact of the sediment supply on downstream channel depends on both bedforms and grain size distribution of bed surface sediment over which the supplied sediment pass.


  • Catena

    Catena 77(3), 207-215, 2009-01

    Elsevier B.V.



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