Sediment Transport of Fine Sand to Fine Gravel on Transverse Bed Slopes in Rotating Annular Flume Experiments

Anne W. Baar*, Jaco de Smit, Wim S.J. Uijttewaal, Maarten G. Kleinhans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)
75 Downloads (Pure)


Large-scale morphology, in particular meander bend depth, bar dimensions, and bifurcation dynamics, are greatly affected by the deflection of sediment transport on transverse bed slopes due to gravity and by secondary flows. Overestimating the transverse bed slope effect in morphodynamic models leads to flattening of the morphology, while underestimating leads to unrealistically steep bars and banks and a higher braiding index downstream. However, existing transverse bed slope predictors are based on a small set of experiments with a minor range of flow conditions and sediment sizes, and in practice models are calibrated on measured morphology. The objective of this research is to experimentally quantify the transverse bed slope effect for a large range of near-bed flow conditions with varying secondary flow intensity, sediment sizes (0.17–4 mm), sediment transport mode, and bed state to test existing predictors. We conducted over 200 experiments in a rotating annular flume with counterrotating floor, which allows control of the secondary flow intensity separate from the streamwise flow velocity. Flow velocity vectors were determined with a calibrated analytical model accounting for rough bed conditions. We isolated separate effects of all important parameters on the transverse slope. Resulting equilibrium transverse slopes show a clear trend with varying sediment mobilities and secondary flow intensities that deviate from known predictors depending on Shields number, and strongly depend on bed state and sediment transport mode. Fitted functions are provided for application in morphodynamic modeling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-45
Number of pages27
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • annular flume
  • bend flow
  • experiments
  • sediment transport
  • transverse slope


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