Grain-size sorting in meander bends containing large woody debris

1024 681 Stroud Water Research Center

Daniels, M.D. 2006. Physical Geography 27(4):348–362.


Few studies have investigated the effects of large woody debris (LWD) on patterns of grain-size sorting in meander bends. In unobstructed meander bends, a characteristic pattern of sediment sorting has been observed in which the coarse and fine particles “cross over” through a bend. This field-based study examines the influence of LWD on spatial patterns of grain-size sorting in three meander bends of a low-energy stream in northern Illinois. The results of this study indicate that, in some cases, LWD substantially modifies patterns of grain-size sorting in low-gradient meander bends. Grain-size patterns in one study bend generally correspond with those observed in studies of other meander bends, but patterns in the two other bends are lacking the clear, characteristic crossover pattern of coarse and fine sediments. The detailed nature of the modifications appears to be highly dependent on the particular arrangement of LWD in a bend.