Date of this Version
Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface
River mouths building into standing bodies of water have strikingly varied growth habits. This presents a compelling pattern formation problem that is also of great practical relevance for subsurface prediction and managing coastal wetlands. Here we present a generalized 2.5-dimensional potential vorticity (PV) theory that explains sedimentation patterns of a sediment-laden stationary jet by coupling an understanding of vorticity with suspended sediment concentration fields. We explore the physical meaning of this new sediment-PV definition, and its impact on outflow depositional patterns, by analyzing data from a shallow wall-bounded plane jet experiment and by discussing new theoretical insights. A key result is that lateral advection and diffusion of suspended sediment are directly proportional to jet vorticity, a feature that reveals the mechanistic process that forms elongated channels by focused levee deposition. The new PV theory constitutes a more generalized mathematical framework that expands the Rouse theory for the equilibrium of suspended sediment.
Copyright © 2014 by the American Geophysical Union.
river mouth, suspended sediment, potential vorticity
Falcini, F., Piliouras, A., Garra, R., Guerin, A., Jerolmack, D. J., Rowland, J., & Paola, C. (2014). Hydrodynamic and Suspended Sediment Transport Controls on River Mouth Morphology. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 119 (1), 1-11. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/2013JF002831
Date Posted: 11 November 2016
This document has been peer reviewed.