Earth surface processes and landforms vol:24 issue:11 pages:993-1007
Experiments were conducted in the laboratory to evaluate the influence of sediment concentration, sediment grain-size distribution, bed slope and flow discharge on sediment deposition rates and patterns associated with a reduction in bed slope. The experimental data clearly indicate that sediment deposition by overland flow is a very selective process: fine particles remain almost entirely in suspension and coarse particles are deposited quickly. Analysis of the data shows that up to a critical unit discharge a simple settling equation without a transport term, assuming continuous mixing of the sediment and water, gives a good prediction of the overall sediment delivery ratio and the grain-size distribution of the deposited and the exported sediment. However, there are some discrepancies for the clay, the coarse silt and the sand fractions. The assumption of continuous mixing is tested by investigating the sedimentation patterns of very narrow size classes. The observed decrease of sediment concentration versus distance from the inflow point for these individual sediment size classes closely agrees with the prediction assuming continuous mixing. When the critical unit discharge is exceeded, hydraulic properties of the overland flow do influence the sediment delivery outcomes. At discharges exceeding the threshold value the simple settling theory underpredicts the sediment delivery ratio. In these hydraulic conditions, a transport term needs to be incorporated into the simple settling theory. It is shown that the transport capacity and the re-entrainment model yield similar expressions for the description of sediment transport by overland flow over an area of net deposition. The experimental data indicate that the re-entrainment of previously deposited sediment is non-selective. Copyright (C) 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.