The morphodynamic evolution of river deltas is intimately tied to flow and sediment partitioning at bifurcations. In this work, the long-term equilibrium configuration of a simple delta network is investigated by means of an analytical model, which accounts for the effect of small tidal oscillations. Differently from individual bifurcations where tidal action is always a stabilizing factor, in the case of a tree-like delta with multiple bifurcations a dual response emerges. Specifically, depending on the values of four reference parameters functions of tidal amplitude, upstream flow conditions, and channels geometry, tides can either promote or discourage an unbalanced discharge distribution. This behavior primarily concerns the apex bifurcation, which is affected by the variations of the relative tidal amplitude at the internal nodes. In turn these variations depend on how flow and sediment are diverted upstream. The stability of steady-state solutions is found to be governed by the sign and magnitude of the slope asymmetry between channels. This work provides a basic modeling framework for the interpretation of the autogenic response of multiple coupled micro-tidal bifurcations, which can potentially be extended to include in a unified scheme erosional and depositional processes typical of fluvio-deltaic systems.

Competing feedback in an idealized tide-influenced delta network

Ragno N.;Tambroni N.;Bolla Pittaluga M.
2022-01-01

Abstract

The morphodynamic evolution of river deltas is intimately tied to flow and sediment partitioning at bifurcations. In this work, the long-term equilibrium configuration of a simple delta network is investigated by means of an analytical model, which accounts for the effect of small tidal oscillations. Differently from individual bifurcations where tidal action is always a stabilizing factor, in the case of a tree-like delta with multiple bifurcations a dual response emerges. Specifically, depending on the values of four reference parameters functions of tidal amplitude, upstream flow conditions, and channels geometry, tides can either promote or discourage an unbalanced discharge distribution. This behavior primarily concerns the apex bifurcation, which is affected by the variations of the relative tidal amplitude at the internal nodes. In turn these variations depend on how flow and sediment are diverted upstream. The stability of steady-state solutions is found to be governed by the sign and magnitude of the slope asymmetry between channels. This work provides a basic modeling framework for the interpretation of the autogenic response of multiple coupled micro-tidal bifurcations, which can potentially be extended to include in a unified scheme erosional and depositional processes typical of fluvio-deltaic systems.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1095674
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