# Lab-0013

## Meandering River Dynamics

Duration
2.0 hrs
Updated
2020/06/02
Run online
start Contributor(s)
Zoltan Sylvestre at Texas Bureau of Economic Geology.
Irina Overeem at University of Colorado.

Introduction
Meanderpy is a Python module that implements a simple numerical model of meandering, the one described by Howard & Knutson in their 1984 paper "Sufficient Conditions for River Meandering: A Simulation Approach".

This is a kinematic model that is based on computing migration rate as the weighted sum of upstream curvatures; flow velocity does not enter the equation. Curvature is transformed into a 'nominal migration rate' through multiplication with a migration rate (or erodibility) constant; in the Howard and Knutson, 1984 paper this is a nonlinear relationship based on field observations that suggested a complex link between curvature and migration rate.

In the 'meanderpy' module we use this linear relationship between the nominal migration rate and curvature, as recent work using time-lapse satellite imagery suggests that high curvatures result in high migration rates (Sylvester et al., 2019).

There is a keynote lecture on the concepts behind this model that you can watch here:

Classroom organization
This is a self-contained jupyter notebook using meander py. It is recommended the instructor introduces concepts of meandering rivers, and students read papers on meadner migration rate - i.e. the papers directly associated with the model. Students can run through the examples, and then assignments can be worked on plenary in a lab style class or as homework. It is recommended that results are being discussed plenary after the completion of the exercises.

Learning objectives
Skills
• learn how to save a plot in python, and make a movie from a model simulation
• implement basic calculations of river hydraulics and morphological relationships on command line
Key concepts
• learn about the planview morphology of meandering rivers
• learn how to quantify sinuosity, relationship between slope,
• learn how meandering rivers migrate

Lab notes
Notes are in the associated jupyter notebook.

References
• Sylvester, Z., Durkin, P., and Covault, J.A., 2019, High curvatures drive river meandering: Geology, v. 47, p. 263–266, doi:10.1130/G45608.1.
• Howard, A, Knutson, T., 1994. Sufficient conditions for meandering.