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Overbank sedimentation is predominantly due to fine sediments transported under suspension that become trapped and settle in floodplains when high-flow conditions occur in rivers. In a compound channel, the processes of exchanging water and fine sediments between the main channel and floodplains regulate the geomorphological evolution and are crucial for the maintenance of the ecosystem functions of the floodplains. These hydrodynamic and morphodynamic processes depend on variables such as the flow-depth ratio between the water depth in the main channel and the water depth in the floodplain, the width ratio between the width of the main channel and the width of the floodplain, and the floodplain land cover characterized by the type of roughness. This paper examines, by means of laboratory experiments, how these variables are interlinked and how the deposition of sediments in the compound channel is jointly determined by them. The combination of these compound channel characteristics modulates the production of vertically axised large turbulent vortical structures in the mixing interface. Such vortical structures determine the water mass exchange between the main channel and the floodplain, conditioning in turn the transport of sediment particles conveyed in the water, and, therefore, the resulting overbank sedimentation. The existence and pattern of sedimentation are conditioned by both the hydrodynamic variables (the flow-depth ratio and the width ratio) and the floodplain land cover simulated in terms of smooth walls, meadow-type roughness, sparse-wood-type roughness, and dense-wood-type roughness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9072-9091
Number of pages20
JournalWater Resources Research
Volume55
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • compound channel, fine sediments, floodplain sedimentation, floodplain vegetation, suspended sediment transport

ID: 67183154