River bedform inception by flow unsteadiness: A modal and nonmodal analysis

Alice Caruso, Riccardo Vesipa, Carlo Camporeale, Luca Ridolfi, Peter J. Schmid

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


River bedforms arise as a result of morphological instabilities of the stream-sediment interface. Dunes and antidunes constitute the most typical patterns, and their occurrence and dynamics are relevant for a number of engineering and environmental applications. Although flow variability is a typical feature of all rivers, the bedform-triggering morphological instabilities have generally been studied under the assumption of a constant flow rate. In order to partially address this shortcoming, we here discuss the influence of (periodic) flow unsteadiness on bedform inception. To this end, our recent one-dimensional validated model coupling Dressler's equations with a refined mechanistic sediment transport formulation is adopted, and both the asymptotic and transient dynamics are investigated by modal and nonmodal analyses.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 17 2016
Externally publishedYes


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