Project Objectives

Objective 1

Use innovative field data acquisition techniques to quantify the interactions between:

  • river morphology at bedform, bar, and reach scales (at cm-resolution and over daily, monthly and annual timescales); and
  • 3D flow and sediment transport (in suspension and as migrating bedforms), including the effects of variations in sediment mobility linked to channel morphology and changing discharge.
Setting up the eBee RTK UAV to fly its next mission mapping a portion of the South Saskatchewan River
Programming the eBee RTK UAV with its next mapping mission along the South Saskatchewan River.

Objective 2

Perform Computational Fluid Dynamics modelling to quantify the relationships between bedform morphology, 3D flow and sediment transport mechanics at high resolutions, for varying discharges and channel configurations, and to support morphodynamic model development (objective three) and evaluation (objective four).

Objective 3

Develop a physically-based morphodynamic model that includes robust representations of bedload and suspended sediment transport processes in sand-bed rivers, including the feedbacks between flow, sediment transport and non-equilibrium bedforms.

Prepping the sampling rig for longer term in-flow measurements
Setting up the in-flow measurement platform for gathering flow and sediment composition measurements over longer periods (days).

Objective 4

Apply the morphodynamic model developed in objective three to simulate flow, sediment transport, bedform dynamics and river evolution at the field site over daily to decadal timescales, and evaluate the model using field datasets (from objective one), CFD output (from objective two), and DEMs derived from archive imagery.

Objective 5

Apply the morphodynamic model developed in objective three to sand-bed rivers at a range of scales and with contrasting channel patterns, to assess model transferability to different environments.

Objective 6

Quantify the role of sediment suspension as a control on river morphology and morphodynamic feedbacks at bedform, bar and whole river scales, for a range of sand-bed channels.