In this paper, a novel modeling approach is applied to assess the unique transport characteristics of hydrophobic (bitumen containing) cohesive sediment for the Ells River, AB, Canada. The modeling offers a new way of treating the transport and fate of fine sediment in rivers and points to the importance of including a sediment entrapment process in the modeling of the Ells River sediment dynamics.
Materials and methods
The modeling approach involves combining two existing models (RIVFLOC and MOBED). Using fine sediment transport parameters derived from laboratory flume experiments (e.g., settling velocity of sediment as a function of floc size and the critical shear stresses for deposition) and the calculated flow field from the MOBED model (using field survey data such as, cross-sectional geometry, river slope, grain size of bed material, and discharge), the RIVFLOC model is used to predict the transport characteristics (including entrapment) of the hydrophobic Ells River sediment.
Results and discussion
The application of the connected RIVFLOC and MOBED models, demonstrated the unique hydrophobic sediment dynamics of the Ells River. The model showed no deposition (in the classical sense) of the hydrophobic sediment as the bed shear stresses, even at base flow, are well above the critical bed shear for deposition (flocculation is shown to occur, but its impact on settling is negligible given the high shear stresses). However, the model showed the possibility of fine sediment ingression into the river bed (interstitial voids) due to the entrapment process which is known to occur at bed shear stresses well above the critical shear stress for deposition.
The salient features of RIVFLOC and MOBED models and their applications for understanding the transport and fate of unique hydrophobic fine sediments are presented. The models are shown to be useful for the understanding and projection of flow characteristics and sediment dynamics (including entrapment), and will be of benefit for the adaptive management of riverine monitoring programs given various flow scenarios including extreme events and climate change.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Ackers P, White WR (1973) Sediment transport: new approach and analysis. J Hydraul Div ASCE 99:HY 11
Chapman DW (1988) Critical review of variables used to define effects of fines in Redds of large salmonids. Trans Am Fish Soc 117:1–21
Cunge JA, Liggett JA (1975) Numerical methods of solution of unsteady flow equations, in: unsteady flow in open channels. Mahmood and Yevjevich (editors), chapter 4, volume 1, Water Resources publications, Fort Collins, Colorado
Djordjevic S (1993) Mathematical model of unsteady transport and its experimental verification in a compound open channel. J Hydraul Res 31(2):229–248
Droppo IG, Krishnappan BG, Liss SN, Marvin C, Biberhofer H (2011) Modelling sediment-microbial dynamics in the South Nation River, Ontario, Canada: towards the prediction of aquatic and human health risk. Water Res 45(12):3797–3809
Droppo IG, D’Andrea L, Krishnappan BG, Jaskot C, Trapp B, Basuvaraj M, Liss SN (2015) Fine-sediment dynamics: towards an improved understanding of sediment erosion and transport. J Soils Sediments 15:467–479
Droppo IG, Krishnappan BG, Lawrence JR (2016) Microbial interactions with naturally occurring hydrophobic sediments: influence on sediment and associated contaminant mobility. Water Res 92:121–130
Einstein HA (1950) The bed load function for sediment transportation in open channel flows. Technical Bulletin No. 1026, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service, Washington, D.C.
Einstein HA, Barbarossa L (1952) River channel roughness. Trans ASCE 117
Fuchs NA (1964) The mechanics of aerosols. Pergamon, New York 408 pp
Gerbersdorf SU, Wieprecht S (2014) Biostabilization of cohesive sediments: revisiting the role of abiotic conditions, physiology and diversity of microbes, polymeric secretion, and biofilm architecture. Geobiology 13:68–97
Glasbergen KA (2013) The effect of coarse gravel on cohesive sediment entrapment. M.Sc. thesis, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Guan Y, Altinakar MS, Krishnappan BG (2002) Modelling of lateral flow distribution in compound channels. In Proceedings of RiverFlow-2002 an international conference on fluvial hydraulics, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
Joyce P, Warren LL, Wotton RS (2007) Faecal pellets in streams: their binding, breakdown and utilization. Freshw Biol 52:1868–1880
Koiter AJ, Owens PN, Petticrew EL, Lobb DA (2015) The role of gravel channel beds on the particle size and organic matter selectivity of transported fine-grained sediment: implications for sediment fingerprinting and biogeochemical flux research. J Soils Sediments 15:2174–2188
Krishnappan BG (1985) Modelling of unsteady flows in alluvial streams. J Hydraul Eng ASCE 111(2):257–266
Krishnappan BG (1986) MOBED user manual, update II. Hydraulics Division, National Water Research Institute, Burlington, Ontario, Canada 95 pp
Krishnappan BG (1991) Modelling of cohesive sediment transport. International Symposium on the Transport of Suspended Sediment and Mathematical Modelling, Florence, Italy, pp 433–448
Krishnappan BG, Lau YL (1985) RIVMIX MK2, user manual. Hydraulics Division, National Water Research Institute, Burlington, Ontario, Canada, 25 pp
Krishnappan BG, Engel P (2006) Entrapment of fines in coarse sediment beds. In: Ferreira, Alves, Leal, Cardoso (eds) River flow 2006. Tailor and Francis Group, London, pp. 817–824
Krone RB (1962) Flume studies of the transport of sediment in estuarial shoaling processes, Final Report, Hydraulic Engineering Laboratory and sanitary Engineering Research Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, California
Lau YL, Krishnappan BG (1997) Measurement of size distribution of settling flocs. NWRI Contribution No. 97–223. Environment Canada, Burlington, Ontario, Canada, 21 pp
Lick W (1982) Entrainment, deposition and transport of fine grained sediments in lakes. Hydrobiologia 91:31–40
Mehta AJ, Partheniades E (1975) An investigation of the depositional properties of flocculated fine sediments. J Hydraul Res IAHR 13:361–381
Mehta AJ, Partheniades E (1982) Resuspension of deposited cohesive sediment beds. Proceedings of the 18th Coastal Engineering Conference, Cape Town, South Africa, 1569–1588
Packman AI, Brooks NH, Morgan JJ (2000a) A physicochemical model for colloid exchange between a stream and a sand streambed with bed forms. Water Resour Res 36(8):2351–2361
Packman AI, Brooks NH, Morgan JJ (2000b) Kaolinite exchange between a stream and streambed: laboratory experiments and validation of a colloid transport model. Water Resour Res 36(8):2363–2372
Parchure TM (1980) Erosional behaviour of deposited cohesive sediments, Ph.D Thesis, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
Partheniades E, Cross RH, Ayora A (1968) Further results on the deposition of cohesive sediments, Proceedings, 11th Conference on Coastal Engineering, London, England, Vol. 2:723–742
Preissmann A (1961) Propogation des instrumescences dans la canaux et rivieres, 1er Congres de l’Association francaises de calcul, Grenoble, France
Smith TB, Owens PN (2014) Flume-and field based evaluation of a time integrated suspended sediment sampler for analysis of sediment properties. Earth Surf Process Landf 39:1197–1207
Stone HL, Brian PLT (1963) Numerical solution of convective transport problems. Am Inst Chem Eng J 9:681–688
Suzanne CL (2015) Effects of natural and anthropogenic non-point source disturbances on the structure and function of tributary ecosystems in the Athabasca oil sands region. M.Sc. Thesis, University of Victoria, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Tambo N, Watanabe Y (1979) Physical aspects of flocculation process—I, fundamental treatise. Water Res 13:429–439
Valioulis IA, List EJ (1984) Numerical simulation of a sedimentation basin: 1. Model development. Environ Sci Technol 18(4):242–247
Waters TF (1995) Sediment in streams: sources, biological effects, and control. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, Freshwater Fishes, Monograph No 7, Bethesda, MD. 251 pp
Wrona F (2014) Personal communication—WSTD. Environment Canada, Victoria, BC, Canada
Yergeau E, Lawrence JR, Sanschagrin S, Waiser MJ, Korber DR, Greer CW (2012) Next-generation sequencing of microbial communities in the Athabasca River and its tributaries in relation to oil sands mining activities. Appl Environ Microbiol 78:7626–7637
Yotsukura N, Sayre WW (1976) Transverse mixing in natural channels. Water Resour Res 12:695–704
The authors wish to acknowledge the technical support provided for the study by Ross Neureuther, Charles Talbot, Chris Jaskot and Elisha Pursaud.
Responsible editor: Sabine Ulrike Gerbersdorf
Electronic supplementary material
(DOCX 21 kb)
Locations of cross-section surveys within modeled reach between RAMP hydrometric sites (S45 and S14A) (JPEG 24 kb)
Variation of flow rate as a function of time for station S45 in Ells River (Source—RAMP http://www.ramp-alberta.org/data/ClimateHydrology/hydrology/Hydrograph.aspx?s=S45) (JPEG 57 kb)
a Surveyed cross-section, water level and lateral velocity distribution a 2 km and b 40 km downstream from hydrometric RAMP station S45 (JPEG 793 kb)
Sectional view of the rotating circular flume used in the present study (JPEG 73 kb)
Rights and permissions
About this article
Cite this article
Droppo, I.G., Krishnappan, B.G. Modeling of hydrophobic cohesive sediment transport in the Ells River Alberta, Canada. J Soils Sediments 16, 2753–2765 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11368-016-1501-7
- Sediment deposition