Development of bedforms due to waves blocked by a counter current

Article Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Earth Surface Processes and Landforms


Experiments are conducted in a laboratory flume on the propagation of a surface wave against unidirectional flow with a sediment bed. This article presents the spatial variation of bedforms induced by the wave-blocking phenomenon by a suitably tuned uniform fluid flow and a counter-propagating wave. The occurrence of wave-blocking is confirmed by finding a critical wave frequency in a particular flow discharge in which the waves are effectively blocked and is established using the linear dispersion relation. The purpose of this work is to identify wave-blocking and its influence on the development of bedforms over the sediment bed. Interestingly bedform signatures are observed at a transition of bedforms in three zones, with asymmetric ripples having a steeper slope downstream face induced by the incoming current, followed by flat sand bars beneath the wave-blocking zone and more symmetric ripples below the wave-dominated region at the downstream. This phenomenon suggests that the sediment bed is segmented into three different regions of bed geometry along the flow. The deviations of mean flows, Reynolds stresses, turbulent kinetic energy, and power spectral density due to the wave-blocking phenomenon are presented along the non-uniform flow over sediment bed. The bottom shear stress, bed roughness and stochastic nature of the bedform features are also discussed. The results are of relevance to engineers and geoscientists concerned with contemporary process as well as those interested in the interpretation of palaeoenvironmental conditions from fossil bedforms. © 2019 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Open Access, Green