Relative importance of fluvial input and wave energy in controlling the timescale for distributary-channel avulsion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Existing avulsion models are decoupled from nearshore processes. Here, I explore quantitatively how the interplay of wave energy with fluvial input of sediment and water controls the aggradation rate and avulsion timescale of a single distributary channel. My approach rigorously couples a diffusive, moving-boundary theory of fluvial morphodynamics with a diffusive treatment of shoreface morphodynamics. I use this deterministic model to quantify the time required for channel-belt superelevation, normalized with channel depth, to attain a threshold value for nodal avulsion at a specified channel location. Increasing the long-term wave energy relative to fluvial input by an order of magnitude increases longshore sediment dispersal, thereby reducing the rate of channel-belt aggradation and associated seaward extension and increasing the avulsion timescale by a factor of approximately 50. Far-field processes eventually limit the ability of wave energy to suppress avulsion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL23404
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Volume32
Issue number23
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 16 2005

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Relative importance of fluvial input and wave energy in controlling the timescale for distributary-channel avulsion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this