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Hydraulic control on the development of megaflood runup deposits

Hydraulic control on the development of megaflood runup deposits
Hydraulic control on the development of megaflood runup deposits
Runup deposits are veneers of alluvium that drape floodway valley side walls above the height of giant bars deposited during megafloods. Given sufficient sediment supply, the highest giant bars, deposited in re-entrants along the flood margins, tend to grow to close to the maximum time-averaged water level of the flood. However, considerable fluctuations in the water level, caused by sediment-charged floodwaters surging over shorter time-scales, are responsible for the higher runup deposits. Here, the theoretical calculations of the expected maximum runup heights are compared with surveyed heights of six runup deposits in the Chuja Valley, Altai, Siberia. The limitations and strengths of the theoretical approach are identified and modified parameters proposed that can be used to provide partial explanation for the differences between theory and observation. Conceptually, surging can be viewed as caused by four interrelated elements: (1) propagation of undular weir flow; (2) macroturbulence; (3) flow separation; and (4) standing, reflection and interference waves. The heights of the observed runup deposits primarily are related to the depth of the flood water above the bar tops and, to a lesser extent, the Froude number, but tend to lie below the maximum surge heights of the modelled flow. Changes in the effective geometry of the flow re-entrant, mediating flow patterns, as water depth increases is likely the cause of mismatch between theory and observation. Runup deposits may also lie at lower elevations than predicted because of sediment supply considerations and the return flow of surges ‘combing’ down deposits. Nonetheless, the difference between observed and predicted runup heights is often only a few tens of metres such that, for deep floods, runup deposits potentially are useful palaeostage indicators. The analysis also indicates that upper-stage plane beds do not dominate bar tops, rather bar top deposition was primarily to lower-stage plane beds, from dense suspensions.
Flood hydraulics, Giant bars, Megaflood, Runup deposits
0169-555X
107203
Carling, Paul A.
8d252dd9-3c88-4803-81cc-c2ec4c6fa687
Borhorquez, Patricio
3c1394db-1cfc-4da3-95f0-e6ae389356f9
Fan, Xuanmei
04ff993f-9188-455a-8a18-5f2735901aaf
Carling, Paul A.
8d252dd9-3c88-4803-81cc-c2ec4c6fa687
Borhorquez, Patricio
3c1394db-1cfc-4da3-95f0-e6ae389356f9
Fan, Xuanmei
04ff993f-9188-455a-8a18-5f2735901aaf

Carling, Paul A., Borhorquez, Patricio and Fan, Xuanmei (2020) Hydraulic control on the development of megaflood runup deposits. Geomorphology, 361, 107203, [107203]. (doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2020.107203).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Runup deposits are veneers of alluvium that drape floodway valley side walls above the height of giant bars deposited during megafloods. Given sufficient sediment supply, the highest giant bars, deposited in re-entrants along the flood margins, tend to grow to close to the maximum time-averaged water level of the flood. However, considerable fluctuations in the water level, caused by sediment-charged floodwaters surging over shorter time-scales, are responsible for the higher runup deposits. Here, the theoretical calculations of the expected maximum runup heights are compared with surveyed heights of six runup deposits in the Chuja Valley, Altai, Siberia. The limitations and strengths of the theoretical approach are identified and modified parameters proposed that can be used to provide partial explanation for the differences between theory and observation. Conceptually, surging can be viewed as caused by four interrelated elements: (1) propagation of undular weir flow; (2) macroturbulence; (3) flow separation; and (4) standing, reflection and interference waves. The heights of the observed runup deposits primarily are related to the depth of the flood water above the bar tops and, to a lesser extent, the Froude number, but tend to lie below the maximum surge heights of the modelled flow. Changes in the effective geometry of the flow re-entrant, mediating flow patterns, as water depth increases is likely the cause of mismatch between theory and observation. Runup deposits may also lie at lower elevations than predicted because of sediment supply considerations and the return flow of surges ‘combing’ down deposits. Nonetheless, the difference between observed and predicted runup heights is often only a few tens of metres such that, for deep floods, runup deposits potentially are useful palaeostage indicators. The analysis also indicates that upper-stage plane beds do not dominate bar tops, rather bar top deposition was primarily to lower-stage plane beds, from dense suspensions.

Text
Hydraulic Control on the Development of Megaflood - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 12 May 2022.
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 6 April 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 7 April 2020
Published date: 1 July 2020
Keywords: Flood hydraulics, Giant bars, Megaflood, Runup deposits

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 441482
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/441482
ISSN: 0169-555X
PURE UUID: 32ca9a83-05a7-4986-82b0-c8b63de74cc3

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 15 Jun 2020 16:31
Last modified: 25 Nov 2021 21:34

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Contributors

Author: Paul A. Carling
Author: Patricio Borhorquez
Author: Xuanmei Fan

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