Stream Table

Summary:

Beginning in 2009, as part of an undergraduate course in geomorphology, we have conducted stream table research to create a sustainable, meandering channel following two guiding relationships: 1) A stream naturally adjusts its gradient to barely transport new sediment entering the system and 2) A channel naturally adjusts its cross-sectional area to barely carry its annual high discharge.

The first two attempts (2009 & 2011) each produced a single meander bend near the head of the table and a second partial bend just downstream using an approximately 1 m wide by 1.5 m long commercial table with adjustable discharge and base level and a “Gerry-rigged,” poorly-functioning sediment feed.  Following the 2011 session, we custom-designed a table approximately 1.5 m wide by 2 m long that allows for adjustable gradient, base level, discharge, and sediment feed.  Results improved, developing a meandering system that traversed the entire table length and included three well-defined bends. In 2016, for the first time, we produced a meander bend that migrated a short distance up gradient. Based on these results, we are currently trying to establish a true meander neck cutoff.

Presentation Links:

  • Little, W.W., Pronk, B., & Worthen, D., 2012, BYUI Stream Table Justification: proposal to the Brigham Young University – Idaho Departments of Geology and Mechanical Engineering for construction of a custom stream table.

Blog Links:

BYUI Geology 411 (Geomorphology) Blog Fall 2013. (Blog)

BYUI Geology 411 (Geomorphology) Blog Winter 2011.  (Blog)

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