Morphological effects of plant colonization of near-bank bars

Andres Vargas Luna, Gonzalo Duro, Alessandra Crosato, Wim Uijttewaal

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractScientific


Nature manifests itself in sometimes surprisingly simple patterns, even though we know that the underlying coupled equations are complex and highly non-linear.
Alluvial estuaries, thNew floodplain formation starts with the development of near-bank sediment deposits such as alternate bars and point bars (e.g. Hickin, 1984). An important step of this process is the colonization of the areas emerging during low flow by plants. Vegetation protects local soil from erosion during subsequent high flows and enhances local sedimentation, increasing the vertical growth of colonized areas. The morphological effects of bar colonization by plants has been studied using numerical models (e.g. Crosato and Samir Saleh, 2011), but laboratory experiments have so far focused on the effects of floodplain vegetation (e.g. Tal and Paola, 2010). This work describes the effects of alternate bar colonization by plants on channel morphology in a large-scale laboratory setting with variable discharge and sediment recirculation. Three situations are analysed and compared: without vegetation (a), with vegetated floodplains only (b) and with vegetation colonizing also the areas emerging during low flows (c). at are the result of interacting forces of nature within a mobile sedimentary medium, are a clear manifestation of such patterns. But what constrains
the formation of shape? Which physical laws are behind it? The author does not have the answers, but raises some pertinent questions.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event10th Symposium on River coastal and estuarine morphodynamics: Back to Italy - Trento - Padova, Italy
Duration: 15 Sept 201722 Sept 2017
Conference number: 10


Conference10th Symposium on River coastal and estuarine morphodynamics
Abbreviated titleRCEM2017
CityTrento - Padova
Internet address

Bibliographical note

Host publication:The 10th Symposium on River, Coastal and Estuarine Morphodynamics, Trento-Padova, 15-22 September 2017, Book of Abstracts

Editors: Lanzoni, S., Redolfi, M., Zolezzi, G.
ISBN (Print): 978-88-8443-752-5


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