Journal cover Journal topic
Earth Surface Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union

Journal metrics

  • IF value: 2.000 IF 2.000
  • IF 5-year<br/> value: 2.000 IF 5-year
    2.000
  • CiteScore<br/> value: 1.84 CiteScore
    1.84
  • SNIP value: 0.628 SNIP 0.628
  • SJR value: indexed SJR
    indexed
  • IPP value: 1.689 IPP 1.689
  • h5-index value: 6 h5-index 6
Earth Surf. Dynam., 2, 271-278, 2014
http://www.earth-surf-dynam.net/2/271/2014/
doi:10.5194/esurf-2-271-2014
© Author(s) 2014. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
05 May 2014
Multiple knickpoints in an alluvial river generated by a single instantaneous drop in base level: experimental investigation
A. Cantelli1 and T. Muto2 1Shell International Exploration and Production, Houston, Texas, USA
2Graduate School of Fisheries Science and Environmental Studies, Nagasaki University, 1–14 Bunkyomachi, Nagasaki 852-8521, Japan
Abstract. Knickpoints often form in bedrock rivers in response to base-level lowering. These knickpoints can migrate upstream without dissipating. In the case of alluvial rivers, an impulsive lowering of base level due to, for example, a fault associated with an earthquake or dam removal commonly produces smooth, upstream-progressing degradation; the knickpoint associated with suddenly lowered base level quickly dissipates. Here, however, we use experiments to demonstrate that under conditions of Froude-supercritical flow over an alluvial bed, an instantaneous drop in base level can lead to the formation of upstream-migrating knickpoints that do not dissipate. The base-level fall can generate a single knickpoint, or multiple knickpoints. Multiple knickpoints take the form of cyclic steps, that is, trains of upstream-migrating bedforms, each bounded by a hydraulic jump upstream and downstream. In our experiments, trains of knickpoints were transient, eventually migrating out of the alluvial reach as the bed evolved to a new equilibrium state regulated with lowered base level. Thus the allogenic perturbation of base-level fall can trigger the autogenic generation of multiple knickpoints which are sustained until the alluvial reach recovers a graded state.

Citation: Cantelli, A. and Muto, T.: Multiple knickpoints in an alluvial river generated by a single instantaneous drop in base level: experimental investigation, Earth Surf. Dynam., 2, 271-278, doi:10.5194/esurf-2-271-2014, 2014.
Publications Copernicus
Download
Share