ARCHIVED CONTENT: In December 2020, the CZO program was succeeded by the Critical Zone Collaborative Network (CZ Net) ×

Papanicolaou & Abban, 2017


Chapter 65: Channel Erosion and Sediment Transport.

Papanicolaou, A.N. and Abban, B. (2017)
Handbook of Applied Hydrology, Second Edition  


Understanding channel erosion and sediment transport through a river network is important for river-related projects such as ecosystem protection, navigation improvements, river training, hydraulic structure design, hazard mitigation, and other environmental enhancements. However, river flows and fluvial processes are highly complex and make the understanding of channel erosion and sediment transport challenging. This is further confounded by lateral sediment loadings from the terrestrial environment, including the bank interfaces. Unlike rigid channels, river channel boundaries evolve continuously due to the dynamic exchange of sediment between the flow and the boundaries, and, thus, necessitate the use of a landscape oriented approach for predicting sediment fluxes through the river network. Despite these challenges, considerable efforts have been undertaken in the last few decades that have resulted in several analytical- and empirical-derived formulations for predicting river behavior and sediment fluxes. This chapter describes some of the key developments in channel erosion and sediment transport, and summarizes key breakthroughs that are readily available to engineers and scientists for addressing a wide range of sedimentation problems. It provides representative methods that have been proposed and, where possible, a commentary on the benefits of the various approaches as well as the conditions under which they are best applicable. It deals with concepts of sediment loading into streams and sediment sourcing, bank erosion, incipient motion, modes of sediment transport, and methods for predicting sediment fluxes.


Papanicolaou, A.N. and Abban, B. (2017): Chapter 65: Channel Erosion and Sediment Transport . Handbook of Applied Hydrology, Second Edition.