An experimental study into the geometry of supply-limited dunes

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The relationship between dune geometry and the volume of mobile sediment was studied in flume experiments. In these flume experiments, the volume of mobile sediment on top of an immobile coarse sediment layer was increased stepwise and the bedform characteristics were observed. A strong relationship was found between the volume that is mobile – and therefore available for bedform formation – and the dune dimensions and regularity. If the sediment supply is limited, dunes are smaller and more regular. Series of experiments with a decreasing supply limitation were conducted for different flow velocities and water depths. The relationship between the dune dimensions and the available volume is different for each series. The observed relationships between dune dimensions and layer thickness collapse to one relationship for height and one for length if scaling parameters are introduced. Current models for bedform dimensions under alluvial conditions can be extended to partial transport conditions using this relationship.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)1713-1727
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Bedforms
  • IR-71155
  • fluvial dunes
  • supply limited dunes
  • supply limitation
  • sand-gravel sediment
  • METIS-249776
  • Bedform dimensions

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