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Testing morphodynamic controls on the location and frequency of river avulsions on fans versus deltas: Huanghe (Yellow River), China

Ganti, Vamsi and Chu, Zhongxin and Lamb, Michael P. and Nittrouer, Jeffrey A. and Parker, Gary (2014) Testing morphodynamic controls on the location and frequency of river avulsions on fans versus deltas: Huanghe (Yellow River), China. Geophysical Research Letters, 41 (22). pp. 7882-7890. ISSN 0094-8276.

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A mechanistic understanding of river avulsion location and frequency is needed to predict the growth of alluvial fans and deltas. The Huanghe, China, provides a rare opportunity to test emerging theories because its high sediment load produces regular avulsions at two distinct nodes. Where the river debouches from the Loess plateau, avulsions occur at an abrupt decrease in bed slope and reoccur at a time interval (607 yrs) consistent with a channel-filling timescale set by the superelevation height of the levees. Downstream, natural deltaic avulsions reoccur at a timescale that is fast (7 yrs) compared to channel-filling timescale due to large stage-height variability during floods. Unlike the upstream node, deltaic avulsions cluster at a location influenced by backwater hydrodynamics and show evidence for episodic downstream migration in concert with progradation of the shoreline, providing new expectations for the interplay between avulsion location, frequency, shoreline rugosity and delta morphology.

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Lamb, Michael P.0000-0002-5701-0504
Additional Information:© 2014 American Geophysical Union. Accepted manuscript online: 24 Oct 2014. Manuscript Revised: 21 Oct 2014. Manuscript Accepted: 21 Oct 2014. Manuscript Received: 17 Sep 2014. This article has been accepted for publication and undergone full peer review but has not been through the copyediting, typesetting, pagination and proofreading process, which may lead to differences between this version and the Version of Record. Please cite this article as doi: 10.1002/2014GL061918. We thank R. DiBiase for the help in extracting the long profile of the Huanghe, and D. Edmonds, B. McElroy, K. Straub and D. Jerolmack for constructive reviews of an earlier version of this manuscript. This research was supported by NSF grant OCE-1233685 and Terrestrial Hazard Observations and Reporting Center (THOR) at Caltech to M.P.L, and NCED2 synthesis postdoctoral funding to V.G. Z.C. was a visiting associate at Caltech made possible by NSFC grant 41376052. Data sources are summarized in Auxiliary online material.
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Caltech Terrestrial Hazard Observations and Reporting Center (THOR)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:backwater; avulsions; Huanghe; delta; alluvial fan; shoreline
Issue or Number:22
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20141027-103121381
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Official Citation:Ganti, V., Z. Chu, M. P. Lamb, J. A. Nittrouer, and G. Parker (2014), Testing morphodynamic controls on the location and frequency of river avulsions on fans versus deltas: Huanghe (Yellow River), China, Geophys. Res. Lett., 41, 7882–7890, doi:10.1002/2014GL061918.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:50841
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:27 Oct 2014 18:13
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 07:27

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