Bedload transport simulation with the model sedFlow: application to mountain rivers in Switzerland

Dieter Rickenmann, Martin Böckli, Florian U.M. Heimann, Alexandre Badoux and Jens M. Turowski

The sedFlow simulation model for one-dimensional calculations of discharge and bedload transport was applied to five Swiss mountain rivers. After calibration it was capable of reproducing the observed bedload transport behavior reasonably well in the study rivers. For most simulations, the variable power equation (VPE) was used together with a reduced energy slope for the bedload transport calculations. The simulations with the Rickenmann (2001) transport equation were found to be suitable for simulation periods including a major flood event. The Wilcock and Crowe (2003) equation, a reference shear stress based approach, resulted in better agreement with long-term observations of bedload transport with only moderate peak flows. Using scenario simulations for a flood event, the effect of important lateral sediment input from tributaries due to debris-flow activity was investigated, indicating that bedload transport along the main river is mainly altered near the tributary locations.

2016/1 387-395