Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dune migration in a steep, coarse-bedded stream

January 1, 1989

During 1986 and 1987, migrating bed forms composed of coarse sand and fine gravel (d50=1.8 to 9.1 mm) were documented in the North Fork Toutle River at Kid Valley, Washington, at flow velocities ranging from 1.6 to 3.4 m s−1 and depths of 0.8 to 2.2 m. The bed forms (predominantly lower regime dunes) were studied with a sonic depth sounder transducer suspended in the river at a stationary point. Twelve temporal depth-sounding records were collected during storm runoff and nearly steady, average streamflow, with record durations ranging from 37 to 261 min. Waveform height was defined by dune front heights, which ranged from 12 to 70 cm. A weak correlation between flow depth and the standard deviation of bed elevation was noted. Dune front counts and spectral analyses of the temporal records showed that dune crests passed the observation point every 2 to 5 min. Dunes were often superposed on larger bed forms with wave periods between 10 and 30 min. Gradual changes in waveform height and periodicity occurred over several hours during storm runoff. The processes of dune growth and decay were both time-dependent and affected by changes in streamflow. Rates of migration for typical dunes were estimated to be 3 cm s−1, and dune wavelengths were estimated to be 6 to 7 m.

Publication Year 1989
Title Dune migration in a steep, coarse-bedded stream
DOI 10.1029/WR025i005p00911
Authors Randy L. Dinehart
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Water Resources Research
Index ID 70015750
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse