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Sand- and gravel-trapping efficiencies derived for four types of pressure-difference bedload samplers

April 15, 2023

Bedload-trapping efficiencies (coefficients) were derived for four types of pressure-difference bedload samplers at the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, University of Minnesota during the first two phases of flume experiments in January-March, 2006, referred to as “StreamLab06.” The bedload-sampler research component was part of a series of community-led, large-scale laboratory experiments performed under the auspices of the National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics (Marr and others, 2010; Singh and others, 2013; Gray and others, 2010, 2019, 2021).

A bedload-trapping coefficient is the ratio of the mass of bedload – sediment transported by rolling, sliding, or skipping in close contact with the riverbed – collected by the deployed sampler, to the mass of bedload that would have passed through the width of the sample section at the same time but in the absence of the sampler (Hubbell, 1964). A trapping coefficient of 1.0 would mean the mass of every particle-size fraction of sediment in the collected sample is in the same proportion as those in transport.

For the 2006 experiments, a Helley-Smith (intake-nozzle width of 76.2 millimeter [mm] and height of 76.2 mm), BLH-84 (76.2 mm × 76.2 mm), Elwha (203 mm × 102 mm) and Toutle River-2 (TR-2; 305 mm × 152 mm) were repeatedly deployed by a hand-held rod with a stabilizing tether line in the main flume. Six combinations of bedload sampler types and bed compositions were tested: The BLH-84, Elwha, and Helley-Smith samplers were deployed on a sand bed (d50 = 1.0 mm) during five steady flows ranging from 2.0-3.6 cubic meters per second (m3/s). The BLH-84, Elwha, and TR-2 samplers were deployed on a gravel bed (d50 = 11.2 mm) at four steady flows ranging from 4.0-5.5 m3/s.

Bedload samples collected manually as part of 37 trials – each associated with a unique combination of a bedload sampler type, steady-flow rate, and bed composition – and associated ancillary data were used to calculate 2,030 instantaneous, at-a-point bedload-transport rates (1,000 as part of 19 sand-bed trials, and 1,030 as part of 27 gravel-bed trials.). Five contiguous weigh drums embedded in a slot spanning the width of the flume independently and continuously weighed captured bedload on approximately 1.1-second intervals. Approximately 3.8-million individual weigh-drum time-series measurements were recorded during the bedload sampler experiments (Groten and Gray, 2021; Gray and others, 2021).

Publication Year 2023
Title Sand- and gravel-trapping efficiencies derived for four types of pressure-difference bedload samplers
Authors John Gray, Joel T. Groten, Jonathan A. Czuba, Gregory E. Schwarz, Kyle Strom, Panayiotis Diplas
Publication Type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Index ID 70243278
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Upper Midwest Water Science Center