### Abstract

It is commonly observed that, in the development processes of channels, a channel head splits into two or more than two branches. By repeating such channel bifurcation, simple patterns of channels, which tend to appear in the initial stages of development, evolve into complex patterns of channel networks. In this study, we propose a simple mathematical model of channel bifurcation, in which a channel head is modeled by an opening on a flat plane composed of erodible bed material. A linear stability analysis is performed with the use of the depth-averaged momentum equations of flow and the Exner equation for beds subject to erosion. The analysis shows that the opening becomes unstable when the Froude critical depth divided by the bottom friction coefficient becomes sufficiently small compared with the radius of the opening. The implication is that channel bifurcation tends to take place as the discharge attracted by the channel head decreases.

Original language | English (US) |
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Title of host publication | River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics |

Subtitle of host publication | RCEM 2007 - Proceedings of the 5th IAHR Symposium on River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics |

Pages | 193-199 |

Number of pages | 7 |

State | Published - Dec 1 2008 |

Event | 5th IAHR-Symposium on River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics, RCEM 2007 - Enschede, Netherlands Duration: Sep 17 2007 → Sep 21 2007 |

### Publication series

Name | River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics: RCEM 2007 - Proceedings of the 5th IAHR Symposium on River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics |
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Volume | 1 |

### Other

Other | 5th IAHR-Symposium on River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics, RCEM 2007 |
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Country | Netherlands |

City | Enschede |

Period | 9/17/07 → 9/21/07 |

### ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Ecology
- Environmental Engineering

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## Cite this

*River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics: RCEM 2007 - Proceedings of the 5th IAHR Symposium on River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics*(pp. 193-199). (River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics: RCEM 2007 - Proceedings of the 5th IAHR Symposium on River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics; Vol. 1).