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Formation process and internal architecture of wave dominated beach-bar along the lake shore: insights from a flume experiment

Abstract

Beach-bar is a common kind of lacustrine sedimentation distributed in the shallow water area. To date, a large amount of oil and gas resource was explored within beach-bar reservoir. However, the depositional mechanism and internal architecture of the beach-bar system are still to be discovered. In this paper, to reveal the formation of a beach-bar system, an experimental beach-bar system was produced through a flume experiment controlled by a simulation plan with three stages. To reproduce a beach-bar system along the lake shore, a bedform with a pre-existing delta was utilized. Based on the morphology data set scanned during the experiment, the sedimentary process and internal architecture of the experimental beach-bar system was discovered. According to the experiment, artificial wave is the key driver force to reform the pre-existing sediments along the lakeshore. A higher water level associated with stronger wave strength, which produced the main deposit, can accelerate the formation process of beach-bar system and create larger scale beach-bars. In contrast, the lower water level and weaker wave can only slightly modify the initial bedform. In the first stage of the experiment, the pre-existing delta was gradually abandoned; sediment of the pre-existing delta was eroded and transported to sides of the pre-existing delta. In the second stage, the pre-existing delta was totally abandoned. The water level and wave intensity kept the same as the first stage; the limited wave intensity slightly reformed the bedform and failed to produce beach-bar system. In the third stage, higher water level and associated stronger wave intensity produced an ideal experimental beach-bar system. In the experiment, the sediment was overall transported to the lake shore. The experimental beach-bar system can be divided into three parts which have different sedimentary characteristics. The largest scale bar with aggraded thick accretions deposited in the proximal part of the beach-bar system. In the middle part of the system, thin and widely distributed beach deposited. The distal part of the system was characterized by arc-shaped and parallelly arranged ridge-like bars.

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Funding

This study was financially supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41802123). We dedicate this work to them for their financial support.

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Correspondence to Wenjie Feng.

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The author(s) declare that they have no competing interests.

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Responsible Editor: Attila Ciner

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Lei, C., Song, X., Gao, X. et al. Formation process and internal architecture of wave dominated beach-bar along the lake shore: insights from a flume experiment. Arab J Geosci 14, 2043 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12517-021-08389-1

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Keywords

  • Flume experiment
  • Beach-bar
  • Sedimentary process
  • Internal sedimentary architecture
  • Wave dominated