Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 538314
Title Crevasse Splays Versus Avulsions : A Recipe for Land Building With Levee Breaches
Author(s) Nienhuis, Jaap H.; Törnqvist, Torbjörn E.; Esposito, Christopher R.
Source Geophysical Research Letters 45 (2018)9. - ISSN 0094-8276 - p. 4058 - 4067.
DOI https://doi.org/10.1029/2018GL077933
Department(s) Hydrology and Quantitative Water Management
WIMEK
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Keyword(s) crevasse splay - Delft3D - river avulsion - sediment diversion - soil consolidation - vegetation
Abstract

Natural-levee breaches can not only initiate an avulsion but also, under the right circumstances, lead to crevasse splay formation and overbank sedimentation. The formative conditions for crevasse splays are not well understood, yet such river sediment diversions form an integral part of billion-dollar coastal restoration projects. Here we use Delft3D to investigate the influence of vegetation and soil consolidation on the evolution of a natural-levee breach. Model simulations show that crevasse splays heal because floodplain aggradation reduces the water surface slope, decreasing water discharge into the flood basin. Easily erodible and unvegetated floodplains increase the likelihood for channel avulsions. Denser vegetation and less potential for soil consolidation result in small crevasse splays that are not only efficient sediment traps but also short-lived. Successful crevasse splays that generate the largest land area gain for the imported sediment require a delicate balance between water and sediment discharge, vegetation root strength, and soil consolidation.

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