Sediment transport in river models with overbank flows

Xiaonan Tang*, Donald W. Knight

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Some laboratory sediment-transport experiments are described in which a compound channel with a mobile-bed composed of uniform sand with a d50 of 0.88 mm was subjected to overbank flows. The main river channel was monitored to determine the effect of floodplain roughness on conveyance capacity, bed-form geometry, resistance, bed-load transport, and dune migration rate. The floodplain roughness was varied to simulate a wide range of conditions, commensurate with conditions that can occur in a natural river. For a given discharge, the main river channel bed was found to adjust itself to a quasi-equilibrium condition governed by the lateral momentum transfer between the floodplain and main channel flows and the local alluvial resistance relationship appropriate for the proportion of total flow in the main river channel. The sediment transport rate was found to reflect all these influences. The data are summarized in equation form for comparison with other experimental studies and for checking numerical river simulation models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-86
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Hydraulic Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Experimental data
  • Flood plains
  • Overflow
  • Rivers
  • Sediment transport

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