CSDMS 2020 Webinars

CSDMS Summer Science Series I: pyRiverBed: A Python framework to generate synthetic riverbed topography for constant-width meandering rivers

Zhi Li

University of Illinois, United States

Meandering is one of the most unique processes in Earth surface dynamics. Integrating the Kinoshita high-sinuosity curve describing meander channel planform geometry into the modified version of Beck equations describing the riverbed topography, a prototype for a synthetic riverbed topography generating model is made for idealized meandering rivers. Such method can be readily extended to apply on any arbitrary river centerline resulting in the synthetic riverbed topography model, pyRiverBed, presented herein. A meander migration and neck cutoff submodel is also embedded in pyRiverBed, however, unlike existing meander evolution models, the present model aims its emphasis towards generating the riverbed topography for each snapshot during the migration process. The present model can help meandering river researchers to interpolate field measured bathymetry data using the synthetic bed, to design non-flatbed laboratory flumes for experiments, and to initialize their hydrodynamics and sediment transport numerical models. It can also provide guidance in stream restoration projects on designing a channel with morphodynamic equilibrium bed.

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Of interest for:
  • Terrestrial Working Group
  • Hydrology Focus Research Group
  • River Network Modeling Initiative