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The influence of slipface angle on dune growth
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  • Suleyman Naqshband,
  • David Hurther,
  • Sanjay Giri,
  • Ryan William Bradley,
  • Ray Kostaschuk,
  • Jeremy G. Venditti,
  • A.J.F. (Ton) Hoitink
Suleyman Naqshband
University of Wageningen

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David Hurther
Laboratory of Geophysical and Industrial Flows (LEGI)
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Sanjay Giri
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Ryan William Bradley
Simon Fraser
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Ray Kostaschuk
Simon Fraser University
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Jeremy G. Venditti
Simon Fraser University
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A.J.F. (Ton) Hoitink
Wageningen University
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Dunes dominate the bed of sandy rivers and they respond to flow by changing shape and size, modifying flow and sediment transport dynamics of rivers. Our understanding and ability to predict dune adaptation, particularly dune growth and decay, remains incomplete. Here we investigate dune growth from an initial flatbed in a laboratory setting by continuously mapping the 3D bed topography using a line laser scanner combined with a 3D camera. High-resolution profiles of flow velocity and sediment concentration providing both bedload and suspended sediment fluxes were obtained by deploying Acoustic Concentration and Velocity Profiler technology. Our analysis reveals that the magnitude of the dune slipface angle, which determines flow separation and controls turbulence production, adjusts to the imposed flow at time scales similar to the evolution of dune height and length. The initiation of a flow separation zone intensifies through scour, and results in acceleration of the dune growth. Gradients in sediment transport and the rate of dune growth are inherently linked to spatial variations in slipface angles. During dune growth, the slipface angle evolves differently than the ratio of dune height to length, which immediately reaches its equilibrium value after dune initiation.