A Bayesian approach to sediment transport modeling can provide a strong basis for evaluating and propagating model uncertainty, which can be useful in transport applications. Previous work in developing and applying Bayesian sediment transport models used a single grain size fraction or characterized the transport of mixed-size sediment with a single characteristic grain size. Although this approach is common in sediment transport modeling, it precludes the possibility of capturing processes that cause mixed-size sediments to sort and, thereby, alter the grain size available for transport and the transport rates themselves. This paper extends development of a Bayesian transport model from one to k fractional dimensions. The model uses an existing transport function as its deterministic core and is applied to the dataset used to originally develop the function. The Bayesian multi-fraction model is able to infer the posterior distributions for essential model parameters and replicates predictive distributions of both bulk and fractional transport. Further, the inferred posterior distributions are used to evaluate parametric and other sources of variability in relations representing mixed-size interactions in the original model. Successful OPEN ACCESS J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2015, 3 1067 development of the model demonstrates that Bayesian methods can be used to provide a robust and rigorous basis for quantifying uncertainty in mixed-size sediment transport. Such a method has heretofore been unavailable and allows for the propagation of uncertainty in sediment transport applications.
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