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Sediment transport measurements with geophone sensors

English title Sediment transport measurements with geophone sensors
Applicant Rickenmann Dieter
Number 137681
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Swiss Federal Research Inst. WSL Direktion
Institution of higher education Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research - WSL
Main discipline Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology
Start/End 01.04.2012 - 31.03.2016
Approved amount 245'291.00
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All Disciplines (4)

Discipline
Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology
Fluid Dynamics
Civil Engineering
Geomorphology

Keywords (6)

bedload transport; geophone sensor; acoustic measuring technique; mountain stream; gravel-bed river; torrent

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary

Prediction of bedload transport is important for hazard assessment and in engineering applications such as the planning and implementation of flood protection measures. Furthermore, a wide range of scientific disciplines such as geomorphology, sedimentology or river engineering rely on such predictions for modeling work. Despite more than a hundred years of active research, knowledge of bedload transport processes is still limited. Considerable difficulties still exist to predict bedload transport in coarse-bedded gravel rivers and torrents, i.e. high-gradient mountain streams. Bedload transport is typically very variable for given stream-flow conditions. Continuous and reliable measurements of bedload transport are difficult and challenging to obtain, but important to advance our understanding of sediment transport in mountain streams.

The main purpose of this proposed research project is to advance the understanding of the indirect bedload transport measuring techniques with geophone sensors. We intend to improve and further develop an existing indirect acoustic method using geophones for measuring bedload transport in gravel bed streams and torrents. Detailed flume experiments in a hydraulic laboratory will allow more accurate and detailed interpretation of the data it records and will give further insight into the underlying physical processes. One goal is to develop a method that can help to calibrate the measuring system for application in natural streams. This method will be tested with observations from field sites for which both direct bedload transport measurements and geophone measurements are available. Such calibration measurements are available from a number of field sites in Switzerland and Austria.

The geophone sensors function at times and under conditions when direct observations of bedload transport are difficult or impossible, for example during high stage floods. We expect that the present research project will allow more accurate determination of bedload transport rates from the acoustic data. In addition we will attempt to extract further information about the transported material, such as the median grain size and the grain size distribution.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Name Institute

Publications

Publication
Laboratory flume experiments with the Swiss plate geophone bed load monitoring system: 1. Impulse counts and particle size identification
Wyss Carlos R., Rickenmann Dieter, Fritschi Bruno, Turowski Jens M., Weitbrecht Volker, Boes Robert M. (2016), Laboratory flume experiments with the Swiss plate geophone bed load monitoring system: 1. Impulse counts and particle size identification, in Water Resources Research, 52, 7744-7759.
Laboratory flume experiments with the Swiss plate geophone bed load monitoring system: 2. Application to field sites with direct bed load samples
Wyss Carlos R., Rickenmann Dieter, Fritschi Bruno, Turowski Jens M., Weitbrecht Volker, Travaglini Eric, Bardou Eric, Boes Robert M. (2016), Laboratory flume experiments with the Swiss plate geophone bed load monitoring system: 2. Application to field sites with direct bed load samples, in Water Resources Research, 52, 7760-7778.
Measuring Bed Load Transport Rates by Grain-Size Fraction Using the Swiss Plate Geophone Signal at the Erlenbach
Wyss Carlos R., Rickenmann Dieter, Fritschi Bruno, Turowski Jens M., Weitbrecht Volker, Boes Robert M. (2016), Measuring Bed Load Transport Rates by Grain-Size Fraction Using the Swiss Plate Geophone Signal at the Erlenbach, in Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, 142(5), 04016003-11.
Grain size effects on energy delivery to the streambed and links to bedrock erosion
Turowski Jens M., Wyss Carlos R., Beer Alexander R. (2015), Grain size effects on energy delivery to the streambed and links to bedrock erosion, in Geophysical Research Letters, 42, 1775-1780.
Bedload grain size estimation from the indirect monitoring of bedload transport with Swiss plate geophones at the Erlenbach stream
Wyss C.R. Rickenmann D. Fritschi B. Turowski J.M. Weitbrecht V. Boes R.M. (2014), Bedload grain size estimation from the indirect monitoring of bedload transport with Swiss plate geophones at the Erlenbach stream, in Schleiss A. et al. (ed.), Taylor & Francis Group, London, 1907-1912.
Bedload transport measurements with impact plate geophones: Comparison of sensor calibration in different gravel-bed streams
Rickenmann D., Turowski J.M., Fritschi B., Wyss C., Laronne J., Barzilai R., Reid I., Kreisler A., Aigner J., Seitz H., Habersack H. (2014), Bedload transport measurements with impact plate geophones: Comparison of sensor calibration in different gravel-bed streams, in Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 39, 928-942.
Field measurements of the energy delivered to the channel bed by moving bed load and links to bedrock erosion
Turowski J.M., Böckli M., Rickenmann D., Beer A.R. (2013), Field measurements of the energy delivered to the channel bed by moving bed load and links to bedrock erosion, in Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 118, 2438-2450.
The mass distribution of coarse particulate organic matter exported from an Alpine headwater stream
Turowski J. M., Badoux A., Bunte K., Rickli C., Federspiel N., Jochner M. (2013), The mass distribution of coarse particulate organic matter exported from an Alpine headwater stream, in Earth Surface Dynamics, 1(1), 1-11.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Philippe Belleudy, University Joseph Fourier, Grenoble France (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Helmut Habersack, BOKU University, Oesterreich Austria (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Jonathan Laronne, Ben Gurion University Israel (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Hydroelectric power companies Austria (Europe)
- Research Infrastructure
Eric Bardou, Centre de Recherche sur l’Environnement Alpin CREALP, Sion Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Takahisa Mizuyama, Daizo Tsutsumi, Kyoto University Japan (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
8th International Gravel Bed Rivers Workshop Poster Towards a flume-based calibration of the Swiss plate geophone bedload monitoring system 14.09.2015 Kyoto & Takayama, Japan Weitbrecht Volker; Turowski Jens Martin; Boes Robert Michael; Rickenmann Dieter; Wyss Carlos;
8th International Gravel Bed Rivers Workshop Talk given at a conference Bedload transport measurements with geophones, hydrophones, and underwater microphones (passive acoustic methods) 14.09.2015 Kyoto & Takayama, Japan Rickenmann Dieter;
Seminar Series, Institute of Environmental Engineering, ETH Zürich Individual talk Bedload transport measurements with geophones in mountain streams, and variability of critical Shields number at two monitoring sites 31.03.2015 Zürich, Switzerland Rickenmann Dieter;
River Flow 2014 Poster Bedload grain size estimation from the indirect monitoring of bedload transport with Swiss plate geophones at the Erlenbach stream 03.09.2014 EPF Lausanne, Switzerland Rickenmann Dieter; Boes Robert Michael; Weitbrecht Volker; Wyss Carlos;
Internationales Symposium Wasser- und Flussbau im Alpenraum Talk given at a conference Geschiebemessungen mit Geophonsensoren: Ableitung der Kalibrierfunktion durch Messungen im Feld und Labor 25.06.2014 ETH Zürich, Switzerland Weitbrecht Volker; Rickenmann Dieter; Turowski Jens Martin; Boes Robert Michael; Wyss Carlos;
EMERGE Workshop Talk given at a conference Bedload transport in glacierized basins 28.05.2013 Bolzano, Italy Rickenmann Dieter;
EGU General Assembly 2013 Talk given at a conference Bedload Bedload transport in two Alpine mountain streams with glacial meltwater runoff 08.04.2013 Vienna, Austria Rickenmann Dieter;
Monitoring bedload and debris flows in mountain basins Talk given at a conference Bedload monitoring in Switzerland ‐ experience with geophone measurements at different field sites 10.10.2012 Bolzano, Italy, Italy Turowski Jens Martin; Rickenmann Dieter; Wyss Carlos;
NIReS workshop at Newcastle University: Understanding bed load sediment transport in fluvial systems Individual talk Indirect bedload transport measurements with geophone and PBI sensors 19.06.2012 Newcastle, UK, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Rickenmann Dieter;


Self-organised

Title Date Place

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
124634 Sediment transport in steep streams 01.05.2009 Project funding (Div. I-III)
172606 Surrogate bedload transport measurements with acoustic sensors 01.03.2018 Project funding (Div. I-III)

Abstract

Prediction of bedload transport is important for hazard assessment and in engineering applications such as the planning and implementation of flood protection measures. Furthermore, a wide range of scientific disciplines such as geomorphology, sedimentology or river engineering rely on such predictions for modeling work. Despite more than a hundred years of active research, knowledge of bedload transport processes is still limited, and none of the multitude of published models is able to describe observations in all conditions occurring in nature. This is especially true for coarse-bedded gravel rivers and torrents, i.e. high-gradient mountain streams. Bedload transport is typically very variable for given stream-flow conditions. Continuous and reliable measurements of bedload transport are difficult and challenging to obtain, but important to advance our understanding of sediment transport in mountain streams.The main purpose of this proposed research project is to advance the understanding of the indirect bedload transport measuring techniques with geophone sensors. We intend to improve and further develop an existing indirect acoustic method using geophones for measuring bedload transport in gravel bed streams and torrents. Detailed laboratory investigation and comparison with field observations will allow more accurate and detailed interpretation of the data it records and will give further insight into the underlying physical processes. In Task A we will investigate the geophone system in a series of laboratory flume experiments. A particular focus will lie on understanding the origins of signal fluctuations for similar boundary conditions, to characterize in detail the sensor response to changing flow conditions and sediment properties, and on exploring the possibility of extracting information on grain size in addition to the total load. The set-up will include a 50 cm wide flume matching the width of the steel plate under which the geophone sensor is fixed. Particles of varying sizes and shapes will be fed at different rates into the flume. Immediately downstream of the geophone sensor plate, the bedload transport will be monitored using either Particle-Image-Velocimetry (PIV) or Particle-Tracking-Velocimetry (PTV) techniques, to determine both bedload transport rate and particle sizes with high temporal resolution. This will allow a detailed analysis of the geophone signal along with the transport conditions. Results will be compared to field data obtained in the Erlenbach for validation (Task B).In Task B the findings from the flume experiments will be complemented with the analysis of high resolution field measurements with geophone sensors. This will be done in first place for existing and ongoing measurements at the Erlenbach stream in Switzerland. In this stream, a moving basket bedload sampling system has been installed three years ago, allowing accurate measurement of transport rate and grain size characteristics, along with high resolution recording of the geophone signal. For the Erlenbach, more than 20 samples are already available from the preceding project, and more data will be sampled during the planned project. Additional high resolution field measurements are available from the Nahal Eshtemoa stream in Israel, and new measurements will be taken there as well. Further calibration measurements are available from a number of complementary field sites in Switzerland and Austria, which will also be used to test the findings from the controlled flume experiments (Task A).The geophone sensors function at times and under conditions when direct observations of bedload transport are difficult or impossible, for example during high stage floods. We expect that the present research project will allow more accurate determination of bedload transport rates from the acoustic data. In addition we will attempt to extract further information about the transported material, such as the median grain size and the grain size distribution.
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