Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (847 KB)

Title: Bed load transport in gravel-bed rivers

Author: Barry, Jeffrey J.;

Date: 2007

Source: Boise, ID: University of Idaho. 164 p. Dissertation.

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Bed load transport is a fundamental physical process in alluvial rivers, building and maintaining a channel geometry that reflects both the quantity and timing of water and the volume and caliber of sediment delivered from the watershed. A variety of formulae have been developed to predict bed load transport in gravel-bed rivers, but testing of the equations in natural channels has been fairly limited. Here, I assess the performance of 4 common bed load transport equations (the Meyer-Peter and Muller [1948], Ackers and White [1973], Bagnold [1980], and Parker [1990] equations) using data from a wide range of gravel-bed rivers in Idaho. Substantial differences were found in equation performance, with the transport data best described by a simple power function of discharge. From this, a new bed load transport equation is proposed in which the coefficient and exponent of the power function are parameterized in terms of channel and watershed characteristics. The accuracy of this new equation was evaluated at 17 independent test sites, with results showing that it performs as well or better than the other equations examined.

Keywords: bed load transport, gravel bed rivers, sediment, streamflow, transport equations, flushing flows, channel maintenance flows, effective discharge, Idaho

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication. (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)



Barry, Jeffrey J. 2007. Bed load transport in gravel-bed rivers. Boise, ID: University of Idaho. 164 p. Dissertation.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.