An empirical approach to river bed degradation


  • R Calay
  • V Sarda
  • R Dhiman



Degradation in a homogeneous alluvial channel due to complete stoppage of sediment downstream of a high capacity reservoir has been studied empirically. Based on dimensional analysis, a method has been established for predicting transient bed profiles in degrading alluvial stream. In addition, prediction procedures for other degradation elements like maximum degradation at any time at upstream section and degradation extent has also been evolved. The prediction procedures when tested against known data gave satisfactory results.


Aksoy, S. (1970). River-Bed degradation of downstream large dams. Transactions of the 9th Congress on large dams, paper Q. 38-R, 43. p. 835.

Aksoy, S. (1971). “Rier-Bed Degradation Downstream of Dams. 14th Congress, IAHR. Vol. 3, pp. 275-282.

Ashida, K., Michiue, M. (1971). An Investigation of River Bed Degradation Downstream of a Dam. 14th Congress, IAHR, Vol. 3, pp. 247-255.

Begin, Z. B., Meyer, D. F., Schumm, S. A. (1981). Development of Longitudinal Profiles of Alluvial Channels in Response to Base-Level Lowerig”, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, Vol. 6, pp. 49-68.

Chang, F. F. M., Richards, D. L. (1971). Deposition of Sediment in Transient Flow. Journal of the Hydraulics Division, ASCE, Vol. 97, No. HY6, pp. 837-849.

Culling. W. E. H. (1960). Analytical Theory of Erosion. Journal of Geology, No. 3. pp. 336-344.

De Vries, M. (1973). River-Bed Variations-Aggradation and Degradation. Delft Hydraulics Laboratory, Publication No. 107.

Drew, D. A. (1979) Dynamic model for channel bed erosion. J. of HydraulicDivision, Vol. 105, HY 6, Paper. No. 14632, pp. 721-736.

Garde, R. J. and Hasan, S. M. (1967). An experimental investigation of degradation in alluvial channels. 12thCongress, IAHR, Vol. 3, pp. 38-45.

Gessler, J. (1971). Aggradation and Degradation. In: “River Mechanics”, edited and published by Shen. H. W., Vol. 1. Chapter 8, pp. 1-24.

Harrison, A. S. (1950). Report on special investigations of bed sediment segregaton in a degrading bed. Rep. Series No. 33, University of California, Institute of Engineering Research, No. 1, Berkeley, California.

Hathway, G. A. (1977). Observations on channel changes- degradation and erosion below dams. 2ndCongress, IAHR, pp. 297-307.

Jaramillo W. F. and Jain S. C. (1984). Aggradation and degradation of alluvial-channel beds. J. of Hydraulic Engineering, ASCE, Vol. 110, No. 8, pp. 1072-1085.

Joglekar, D. V., Wadekar, G. T. (1951). The Effects of Weirs and Dams on the Regime of River” 4th Congress, IAHR, pp. 349-363.

Lane, E.W. (1934). Retrogression of Levels in River-Beds Below Dams. Engineering News Records. Vol. 112, p. 836.

Livesey. R. H. (1963). Channel Armoring Below Fort Randall Dam. Federal Inter-Agency Sedimentation Conference, pp. 461-470.

Mahmood, K. (1975). Mathematical Modeling of Morphological Transients in Sand-Bed Canals. 16thCongress, IAHR, Vol. 2, pp. 57-64.

Malhotra, S. L. (1951). Effects of barrages and weirs on the regime of Rivers. 4th Congress, IAHR. pp. 335-347.

Newton, C. T. (1951). An Experimental Investigation of Bed Degradation in an open channel. Transactions of Boston Society of Civil Engineers, pp. 28-60.

Palaniappan, A. B. (1991). Numerical modeling of aggradation and degradation in alluvial streams. Ph. D thesis, University of Roorkee, Roorkee, India.

Pick, L. A. (1951). Sedimentation Problems in the Missouri River Basin. Proceedings of the 4th Congress of the International Commission on Large Dams, Vol. 14, pp. 47-68.

Puls, W., Sundermann, J. and Vollmers, H. (1977). A Numerical Approach to Solid Matter Transport Computation. 17th Congress, IAHR, Vol. 1, pp. 129-135.

Shulits, S. (1934). Experience with Bed Degradation Below Dams of European Rivers. [1] Engineering News Records, Vol. 112, p. 836.

Simons, D. B., Li, R. M. and Fullerton, W. T. (1980). Multiple Watershed Model for Water and Sediment Routing from Mined Areas. Simons and Li and Associates, Inc.

Stanley, J. W. (1947). Effect of Dams on Channel Regimen. Proceedings of the Federal Inter-Agency Sedimentation Conference, pp. 163-167.

Stanley, J. W. (1951). Retrogression on Lower Colorado River after 1935. Transactions ASCE, Vol. 116, pp. 943-957.

Suryanarayana, B. and Shen, H. W. (1971). Laboratory Study of degradation and aggradation. Journal of the Waterways, Harbors and Coastal Engineering Division, ASCE, Vol. 97, No. WW4, pp. 615-630.

Tinney, E. R. (1962). The Progress of Channel Degradation, Journal of Geophysical Research. Vol. 67, No.4.

Vittal, N. and Mittal, M. K. (1980). Degradation of Ratmau torrent downstream of Dhanauri. Proc. International Workshop on Alluvial River Problems, IAHR, Paper No. 5, pp.43-54.

Yen C., Chang S. and Lee H. (1992). Aggradation and Degradation process in alluvial channels, Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, ASCE, Vol. 118, No, 12, pp,165l-l669.



How to Cite

Calay, R., Sarda, V. and Dhiman, R. (2008) “An empirical approach to river bed degradation”, The International Journal of Multiphysics, 2(4), pp. 407-420. doi: 10.1260/1750-9548.2.4.407.