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Title: History‐Dependent Threshold for Motion Revealed by Continuous Bedload Transport Measurements in a Steep Mountain Stream
Abstract

To explore the causes of history‐dependent sediment transport in rivers, we use a 19‐year record of coarse sediment transport from a steep channel in Switzerland. We observe a strong dependence of the threshold for sediment motion (τc) on the magnitude of previous flows for prior shear stresses ranging from 104 to 340 Pa, resulting in seasonally increasingτcfor 10 of 19 years. This stabilization occurs with and without measureable bedload transport, suggesting that small‐scale riverbed rearrangement increasesτc. Following large transport events (>340 Pa), this history dependence is disrupted. Bedload tracers suggest that significant reorganization of the bed erases memory of previous flows. We suggest that the magnitude of past flows controls the organization of the bed, which then modifiesτc, paralleling the evolution of granular media under shear. Our results support the use of a state function to better predict variability in bedload sediment transport rates.

 
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NSF-PAR ID:
10460409
Author(s) / Creator(s):
 ;  ;  ;  ;  
Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Geophysical Research Letters
Volume:
46
Issue:
5
ISSN:
0094-8276
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 2583-2591
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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