Today in Fluvial Processes, I’ll be talking about sediment transport. It’s one of those subjects that can easily get bogged down in lots and lots of math, but I prefer to start out with getting students to watch and describe the processes that occur as grains move along the bed before we start in on the physics and math.
Here’s the grainy video I’ve been showing for years, but it’s still a great way to picture bedload transport: http://geofaculty.uwyo.edu/heller/SedMovs/Dietrich.htm. Kind of sorry about the grainy pun.
Here’s a nice close up video of some large bed sediments, from John Gaffney:
And some much smaller sediments moving across a coarse bed:
There are more videos by John Gaffney where those came from: http://www.youtube.com/user/flyer0lines/videos?view=pl
You can also enjoy this nice top down and cool sidelit view of sand and fine gravel: http://serc.carleton.edu/details/files/31376.html
Curious about how it all happens? Watch a quick primer from Dawn Summer at UC Davis:
Dawn has also got a great set of lecture notes available too. Or, consider taking my Fluvial Processes class at some point down the road.