By J. L. Best, C. S. Bristow (editors)
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Extra info for Braided Rivers (Geological Society Special Publication 75)
However, as demonstrated below, discharge variability does influence the detail of sediment transport, erosion and deposition in braided rivers and all other alluvial river types. Discharge, slope, b e d material size a n d s e d i m e n t transport rate Discriminators between unbraided and braided rivers of the form S = aQ -b (see Table 2) have been interpreted to represent a constant value of a hydraulic property at the channel pattern threshold. e. 0 for stream power per unit channel length (Antropovskiy 1972; Ferguson 1981, 1984, 1987; Begin 1981; Begin & Schumm 1984; Carson 1984a).
Curved flow around any type of channel bar results in a flowtransverse component of water surface slope towards the inner, convex bank, a spiral flow pattern, and convective accelerations and decelerations of the depth-averaged flow. The spiral flow pattern arises primarily because of an inbalance through the flow depth of curvatureinduced centrifugal forces and the pressure gradient associated with the transverse-sloping water surface. The convective accelerations and decelerations are associated with spatiallyvarying bed topography and channel curvature and, to a lesser extent, with the spiral flow.
The anomaly is probably based on Chang's criterion for braiding which is that an increase in S is associated with a large increase in w/d. Remarkably, however, Chang's (1985) region boundaries are lines of approximately equal w/d, and the middle of region (3) (which apparently marks the transition from meandering to braided rivers) has a w/d of 50 which is in close agreement with Fredsoe's (1978) criterion for braiding. Thus, if the discrimination between channel patterns is essentially in terms of w/d (as suggested by other theories) then the crux of the issue is finding out what independent variables control w and d.