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Discrete Models in Sediment Transport

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Final progress rept. 1 Jun 94-31 Dec 98

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The principal goal of the present study has been to construct and test computer algorithms for fluvial sediment erosion and deposition processes. Real-life topographic features in arid terrain have been used as a source of groundtruth information. Much use is being made today of generic landscape evolution models. But little effort has gone into testing such models against actual landscape evolution as measured in the field. In particular, modern landscape models are seldom used for site-specific studies. This work has attempted to bridge that gap. The near-term objective has been to test some commonly used constitutive rules for sediment transport against geomorphic evidence as observed in the field. The present work has focussed on defining broad scale erosiondeposition patterns to fluvial erosion patterns. These comparative studies are be critical for transferring generic sediment transport rules used by most landscape modelers into actual hands-on algorithms that can be used in real life situations of interest to the Army. We have also been interested in applying our studies of desert pavement to problems of Army interest, in particular, to possible ways to restore or stabilize these ancient surfaces. An ancillary goal has been to understand the problems involved in scaling-up fundamental, small-scale sediment transport physics to large-scale engineering and environmental applications involving erosion and landscape change with time, and to develop computational tools appropriate for such large-scale applications.

Subject Categories:

  • Soil Mechanics
  • Hydrology, Limnology and Potamology

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