Water Stewardship Information Sources

Citation Martin, Y and Ham, D. 2005. Testing bedload transport formulae using morphologic transport estimates and field data: lower Fraser River, British Columbia. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 30:1265-1282.
Organization University of Calgary
URL http://www.bgs.ucalgary.ca/files/bgs/martin_&_ham_2005.pdf
Abstract/Description or Keywords Morphologic transport estimates available for a 65-km stretch of Fraser River over the
period 1952–1999 provide a unique opportunity to evaluate the performance of bedload
transport formulae for a large river over decadal time scales. Formulae tested in this paper
include the original and rational versions of the Bagnold formula, the Meyer-Peter and
Muller formula and a stream power correlation. The generalized approach adopted herein
does not account for spatial variability in flow, bed structure and channel morphology.
However, river managers and engineers, as well as those studying rivers within the context
of long-term landscape change, may find this approach satisfactory as it has minimal data
requirements and provides a level of process specification that may be commensurable with
longer time scales. Hydraulic geometry equations for width and depth are defined using
morphologic maps based on aerial photography and bathymetric survey data. Comparison
of transport predictions with bedload transport measurements completed at Mission indicates
that the original Bagnold formula most closely approximates the main trends in the
field data. Sensitivity analyses are conducted to evaluate the impact of inaccuracies in input
variables width, depth, slope and grain size on transport predictions. The formulae differ in
their sensitivity to input variables and between reaches. Average annual bedload transport
predictions for the four formulae show that they vary between each other as well as from the
morphologic transport estimates. The original Bagnold and Meyer-Peter and Muller formulae
provide the best transport predictions, although the former underestimates while the
latter overestimates transport rates. Based on our findings, an error margin of up to an
order of magnitude can be expected when adopting generalized approaches for the prediction
of bedload transport. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Keywords: bedload transport formulae; morphologic transport estimates; sediment transport;
channel morphology; field data
Information Type article
Regional Watershed Lower Fraser
Sub-watershed if known
Aquifer #
Project status complete
Contact Name Yvonne Martin
Contact Email [email protected]