Development of a flow history correction factor for sediment entrainment thresholds

Kazi Hassan, Heather Haynes

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


    A plethora of sediment transport equations exist with which to predict sediment load and morphology of river systems; however, these are often sensitive to the entrainment threshold parameter employed. Many practising river engineers still prefer use of the Shields parameter’s critical threshold value ~0.06 (Shields, 1936) as generally applicable for uniform grain size. Yet, recent research suggest that this is value may be highly sensitive to the flow history that the bed is exposed to prior to entrainment (e.g. Paphitis and Collins, 2005; Monteith and Pender, 2005; Haynes and Pender, 2007; Ockelford et al., 2010). Laboratory experiments were conducted for planar sand beds of uniform grain size (D50 = 1.7mm) using a 5m x 0.3 m recirculation flume set to a 1 in 300 gradient. Entrainment threshold was defined using Yalin’s visual method (Yalin, 1972) and associated shear stresses estimated using a depth-slope product approach. Beds were subjected to flow histories of 0, 60, 120 and 240 minutes of sub-threshold flow (50% critical shear stress); these were then subjected to incremental increases of applied shear stresses to establish the revised entrainment threshold shear stress. Compared with the Shields diagram and the modified diagram by Parker et al. (2003) results indicate that water-working increases the Shield parameter by 10-60%. Given that data clearly indicate a positive relationship between flow history duration and parameter magnitude, detailed comparison with wider experimental flow history research has been undertaken to propose a novel mathematical correction factor for entrainment threshold. This yields important implications for improved modelling practice for bedload transport in river systems.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2012
    EventAmerican Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2012 - San Francisco, United States
    Duration: 3 Dec 20127 Dec 2012


    ConferenceAmerican Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2012
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CitySan Francisco


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