Density Stratification Effects in Sand-Bed Rivers

Scott Wright, Gary Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper the effects of density stratification in sand-bed rivers are studied by the application of a model of vertical velocity and concentration profiles, coupled through the use of a turbulence closure that retains the buoyancy terms. By making the governing equations dimensionless, it is revealed that the slope is the additional dimensionless parameter introduced by inclusion of the buoyancy terms. The primary new finding is that in general density stratification effects tend to be greater in large, low-slope rivers than in their smaller, steeper brethren. Under high flow conditions the total suspended load and size distribution of suspended sediment can be significantly affected by density stratification, and should be accounted for in any general theory of suspended transport.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)783-795
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Hydraulic Engineering
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Density stratification
  • River beds
  • Sand
  • Sediment transport
  • Suspended sediments
  • Velocity profile

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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