Bedload transport flux fluctuations over a wide range of time scales

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Hongbo Ma1, Xudong Fu1 and Christophe Ancey2, (1)Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, (2)EPFL Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
Bedload transport is a highly fluctuating process. Our previous study (Ma et al., 2014) demonstrated a three-regime relation of the variance of bedload transport flux across a wide range of sampling time scales. This study further explored the fluctuation spectrum of at-a-point bedload transport flux with different sampling times. We derived out analytical solutions of the third- and fourth-order moments of bedload transport flux, based on a physically-based formulation (Ancey et al., 2008; Ma et al., 2014). A formulation of the probability density function of bedload transport flux was constructed based on the 1st through 4th order moments. Experimental data were used to test against the solutions of both the moments and PDF. Interestingly, the higher order statistical moments were found to exhibit the three-regime pattern as well. This study contributes to a comprehensive understanding of bedload transport flux fluctuation and emphasizes its timescale-dependent features resulting from the discrete nature and correlated motion of bedload material. The correlated structures of bedload transport, such as bed forms and particle clusters, deserve to be further exploration in future studies.

Keywords: bedload transport; stochastic theory; high order moment; fluctuation; time scale; PDF.

Ancey, C., Davison, A. C., Bohm, T., Jodeau, M., and Frey, P. Entrainment and motion of coarse particles in a shallow water stream down a steep slope, Journal of Fluid Mechanics, 2008, 595, 83-114, doi: 10.1017/S0022112007008774.

Ma, H. B., Heyman, J., Fu, X. D., Mettra, F., Ancey, C. and Parker, G. Bedload transport over a broad range of time scales: determination of three regimes of fluctuations. Journal of Geophysical Research-Earth Surface, 2014. (under review)