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Open AccessArticle

Quantifying the Variability in Flow Competence and Streambed Mobility with Water Discharge in a Gravel-Bed Channel: River Esva, NW Spain

1
INDUROT, University of Oviedo, Campus de Mieres, s/n 33600 Mieres, Spain
2
Department of Geology, University of Oviedo, c\Jesús Arias de Velasco, s/n 33005 Oviedo, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2019, 11(12), 2662; https://doi.org/10.3390/w11122662
Received: 16 November 2019 / Revised: 12 December 2019 / Accepted: 13 December 2019 / Published: 17 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Hydraulics and Hydrodynamics)
Streambed mobility in gravel-bed rivers is largely controlled by the rate at which particles with different grain sizes are recruited from the riverbed into the bed load. In this paper, we present a study case in which we explored this question, based on combining field observations using painted plots and the grain size analysis of a large flood sediment deposit in the River Esva, northwest Spain, and the generalized threshold model (GTM) competence model developed by Recking. The main aim was to accomplish a complete characterization of streambed mobility in this river. The obtained results suggest the large potential of the GTM model compared to previous competence models when searching for the quantitative description of particle entrainment and streambed mobility in the River Esva. We observed how the grain size of the bed load in the River Esva tended to be closer to that of the sub-armour bed material during large floods, while moderate magnitude flows tended to carry a relatively fine bed load. Additionally, we compared our results with previously published field observations on flow competence. This comparison outlined the large degree of site specificity in the links between grain size of the bed load and that of the bed material. View Full-Text
Keywords: flow competence; critical shear stress; streambed mobility; bed load; bed surface texture flow competence; critical shear stress; streambed mobility; bed load; bed surface texture
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vázquez-Tarrío, D.; Fernández-Iglesias, E.; Fernández García, M.; Marquínez, J. Quantifying the Variability in Flow Competence and Streambed Mobility with Water Discharge in a Gravel-Bed Channel: River Esva, NW Spain. Water 2019, 11, 2662.

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