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The formation of ripples and dunes on a erodible bed
Richards, K.J. (1980). The formation of ripples and dunes on a erodible bed. J. Fluid Mech. 99(3): 597-618
In: Journal of Fluid Mechanics. Cambridge University Press: London. ISSN 0022-1120, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Richards, K.J.

Abstract
    A two-dimensional stability analysis is presented of flow of low Froude number over an erodible bed. Particular regard is given to the modelling of the turbulent flow close to the bed. In contrast to previous theories that use a constant eddy-viscosity approach the present theory predicts the occurrence of two separate modes of instability, with wavelengths related to the roughness of the bed and the depth of the flow. It is postulated that these two modes correspond to the formation of ripples and dunes respectively. The results are strongly dependent on the two parameters z0, the roughness length of the bed, and β, the effect of the local bed slope on the bed-load transport. Using physically plausible estimates for these parameters the results of the analysis are in good agreement with observations for both ripples and dunes.

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