The exceptional sediment load of fine-grained dispersal systems: Example of the Yellow River, China

Hongbo Ma, Jeffrey A. Nittrouer, Kensuke Naito, Xudong Fu, Yuanfeng Zhang, Andrew J. Moodie, Yuanjian Wang, Baosheng Wu, Gary Parker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Sedimentary dispersal systems with fine-grained beds are common, yet the physics of sediment movement within them remains poorly constrained. We analyze sediment transport data for the best-documented, fine-grained river worldwide, the Huanghe (Yellow River) of China, where sediment flux is underpredicted by an order of magnitude according to well-accepted sediment transport relations. Our theoretical framework, bolstered by field observations, demonstrates that the Huanghe tends toward upper-stage plane bed, yielding minimal form drag, thus markedly enhancing sediment transport efficiency.We present a sediment transport formulation applicable to all river systems with silt to coarse-sand beds. This formulation demonstrates a remarkably sensitive dependence on grain size within a certain narrow range and therefore has special relevance to silt-sand fluvial systems, particularly those affected by dams. 2017

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere1603114
JournalScience Advances
Volume3
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2017

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sediment transport
river
sediment
silt
sand
river system
drag
physics
grain size
dam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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The exceptional sediment load of fine-grained dispersal systems : Example of the Yellow River, China. / Ma, Hongbo; Nittrouer, Jeffrey A.; Naito, Kensuke; Fu, Xudong; Zhang, Yuanfeng; Moodie, Andrew J.; Wang, Yuanjian; Wu, Baosheng; Parker, Gary.

In: Science Advances, Vol. 3, No. 5, e1603114, 05.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ma, H, Nittrouer, JA, Naito, K, Fu, X, Zhang, Y, Moodie, AJ, Wang, Y, Wu, B & Parker, G 2017, 'The exceptional sediment load of fine-grained dispersal systems: Example of the Yellow River, China', Science Advances, vol. 3, no. 5, e1603114. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.1603114
Ma, Hongbo ; Nittrouer, Jeffrey A. ; Naito, Kensuke ; Fu, Xudong ; Zhang, Yuanfeng ; Moodie, Andrew J. ; Wang, Yuanjian ; Wu, Baosheng ; Parker, Gary. / The exceptional sediment load of fine-grained dispersal systems : Example of the Yellow River, China. In: Science Advances. 2017 ; Vol. 3, No. 5.
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