Bed roughness and grain sorting- an experimental study over fine to medium sand beds

Article Type

Research Article

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International Journal of Sediment Research


The relation between grain-size distribution of the bed and in suspension was critically examined under a uniform flow velocity of 50 cm/s over two beds: one of mainly fine sands and the other of medium sands. Two sections – one 2.85 m downstream and the other 6.35 m downstream in the experimental channel -were selected for sampling to study the grain-sorting pattern in the vertical direction along the direction of transport. The shape and type of the grain-size distribution pattern were critically studied with height above the bed. The change in the distribution pattern has been attributed to the change of local bed roughness causing scouring against the protruded relatively coarse grains on the bed. Such trends are important to predict the nature of river bed topography. The sand of Bed-1 initially exhibits a log-skew-Laplace distribution at different heights of suspension. The distribution pattern, however, changes but this changing pattern is not consistent along the upstream side. For Bed-2, which initially exhibits a log-normal distribution, the same pattern persists from the height of suspension at 5 cm up to 20 cm. Such consistency in log-normality is also observed at the downstream points of measurement. It is generally expected that the mean grain-size would reduce with increases of suspension height but the results of the experiments, in some occasions, differ significantly from the gradual fining upward trend. This result has been attributed to local changes of bed roughness arising from the protruded relatively coarse grains causing eddies, scouring, and turbulent phenomena which moves coarse particles higher in suspension adding a coarse tail to the distribution increasing the mean grain-size.

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