Analysis of rill step–pool morphology and its comparison with stream case

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Abstract

In this paper, the morphology of step–pool features is analysed using rill measurements and literature data for streams. Close-range photogrammetry was used to carry out ground measurements on rills with step–pool units, shaped on a plot having slope equal to 14, 15, 22, 24 and 26%. Data were used to compare the relationships between H/L, in which H is the step height and L is the step length, and the mean gradient of the step–pool sequence, Sm, for streams or the slope of the step–pool unit, S, for rills. The relationship of H/L against Sm is widely used to test the occurrence of the maximum flow resistance condition in streams, which is associated with the range 1 ≤ (H/L)/Sm ≤ 2. Further analyses were carried out to compare both the formation process and the profile of the pool in rills with those related to streams. Moreover, for a single rill channel, an analysis of flow characteristics expressed in terms of Darcy–Weisbach friction factor and Froude number was developed. The results allowed us to state: (i) the relationships of H/L versus Sm and S are quite similar and the steepness ratio for streams, (H/L)/Sm, and for rills, (H/L)/S, generally ranges from 1 to 2; (ii) the formation process and the profile of the pool in rills are not consistent with those occurring in streams; (iii) in the rills, the longitudinal size of the pool is dominant with respect to the maximum scour depth; (iv) the presence of a sequence of step–pool units within a rill segment noticeably increases flow resistance compared to segments with a flat bed; (v) the Froude number of the flow over the sequence of step–pool units in rills is slightly below the range of 0.8–1 corresponding to the maximum flow resistance in step–pool units.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)775-790
Numero di pagine16
RivistaEarth Surface Processes and Landforms
Volume46
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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  • ???subjectarea.asjc.1900.1904???
  • ???subjectarea.asjc.1900.1901???

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