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Probability distributions of particle hop distance and travel time over equilibrium mobile bedforms
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  • Thomas Christopher Ashley,
  • Robert C. Mahon,
  • Suleyman Naqshband,
  • Kate Potter Leary,
  • Brandon McElroy
Thomas Christopher Ashley
University of Wyoming, University of Wyoming

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Robert C. Mahon
University of New Orleans, University of New Orleans
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Suleyman Naqshband
University of Wageningen, University of Wageningen
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Kate Potter Leary
UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Barbara
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Brandon McElroy
University of Wyoming, University of Wyoming
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The joint probability distribution of streamwise particle hop distance, lateral particle hop distance, and travel time constrains the relationships between topographic change and sediment transport at the granular scale. Previous studies have investigated the ensemble characteristics of particle motions over plane-bed topography, however it is unclear whether reported distributions remain valid when bedforms are present. Here, we present measurements of particle motion over bedform topography obtained in a laboratory flume and compare these to particle motions over plane-bed topography with otherwise similar conditions. We find substantial differences in particle motion in the presence of bedforms that are relevant to macroscopic models of sediment transport. Most notably, bedforms increase the standard deviation of streamwise and lateral hop distances relative to the mean streamwise hop distance. This implies that bedforms increase the streamwise and lateral diffusion lengths and, equivalently, increase diffusive-like fluxes.
Jul 2020Published in Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface volume 125 issue 7. 10.1029/2020JF005647