Abrasion model of downstream changes in grain shape and size along the williams river, australia

Tímea Szabõ, Stephen Fityus, G. Domokos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Modeling pebble abrasion during bed load transport is of fundamental importance in fluvial geomorphology, as it may help to understand downstream fining patterns along gravel bed rivers. Here we review a recently published analytical abrasion model called box equations, which can simultaneously track the shape and size evolution of large pebble populations as the cumulative effect of binary collisions between particles. The model predicts that pebble shapes move away from the sphere and develop sharp edges due to collisional abrasion by sand. We present a field study on the downstream evolution of basalt particle shape and size along the Williams River in the Hunter Valley, Australia. Pebbles get flatter and thinner, and several aquafacts (i.e., abraded pebbles with sharp edges) emerge in the downstream reaches, both suggesting the importance of abrasion by sand. Applying box equations with a few fitted parameters, we present a numerical simulation which reproduces both the shape and size evolution of pebbles along the Williams River. The simulation allows tracking of the shape and size evolution of individual particles as well, revealing an interesting phenomenon that particle size controls shape evolution. Box equations, in combination with existing transport concepts, provide a framework for future shape and size evolution studies in sedimentary environments. In particular, they may help to assess the relative importance of size selective transport versus abrasion in causing downstream fining in gravel bed rivers. Key Points New model describing pebble size and shape evolution under abrasion

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2059-2071
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Volume118
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Fingerprint

Grain size and shape
abrasion
Abrasion
rivers
pebble
Rivers
river
Gravel
boxes
beds
gravels
river bed
Sand
stream channels
gravel
sands
Geomorphology
sand
fluvial geomorphology
geomorphology

Keywords

  • abrasion
  • aquafact
  • downstream fining
  • particle shape
  • shape evolution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Geophysics

Cite this

Abrasion model of downstream changes in grain shape and size along the williams river, australia. / Szabõ, Tímea; Fityus, Stephen; Domokos, G.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 118, No. 4, 2013, p. 2059-2071.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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