Academic Commons

Articles

Diffusive evolution of experimental braided rivers

Reitz, Meredith D.; Jerolmack, Douglas J.; Lajeunesse, Eric; Limare, Angela; Devauchelle, Olivier; Métivier, François

Water flowing over a loose granular bed organizes into a braided river, a network of ephemeral and interacting channels. The temporal and spatial evolution of this network of braided channels is not yet quantitatively understood. In ∼1 m-scale experiments, we found that individual channels exhibit a self-similar geometry and near-threshold transport conditions. Measurements of the rate of growth of topographic correlation length scales, the time scale of system-slope establishment, and the random spatial decorrelation of channel locations indicate together that the evolution of the braided river system may be diffusive in nature. This diffusion is due to the separation of scales between channel formation and network evolution, and the random motion of interacting channels when viewed at a coarse-grained scale.

Files

  • thumnail for ReitzJerolmack14_Diffusive_braided_rivers.pdf ReitzJerolmack14_Diffusive_braided_rivers.pdf application/pdf 721 KB Download File

Also Published In

Title
Physical Review E
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.89.052809

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Publisher
American Physical Society
Published Here
October 6, 2015
Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.