• Implementation of various bed load transport equations at monitoring sites along the Sagavanirktok River

      Laurio, Jenah C.; Toniolo, Horacio; Barnes, Dave; Stuefer, Svetlana (2019-05)
      In May 2015, the Sagavanirktok River in Alaska flooded, spilling over the Dalton Highway and destroying several sections of the road near the community of Deadhorse. The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities made repairs to the road and funded the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Water and Environmental Research Center (WERC), to conduct a multiyear study of hydro-sedimentological conditions on the Sagavanirktok River. Personnel from the WERC installed four monitoring stations for research purposes. The first monitoring station (DSS1) is located near Deadhorse at Milepost (MP) 405 of the Dalton Highway, the second (DSS2) is located below the Ivishak River (MP 368), the third (DSS3) is located in Happy Valley (MP 335), and the fourth (DSS4) is located at MP 318. Near each monitoring station, large pits were excavated to trap bed sediment as it moves downstream. Researchers involved in the Sagavanirktok River study have been collecting bathymetry measurements from the sediment pits since fall of 2015. The following document discusses a research project that focused on bed load transport along the Sagavanirktok River at monitoring sites DSS1, DSS2, and DSS3. Monitoring site DSS4 was not included in this study due to difficulties retrieving sediment data caused by high water levels. Sediment transport volumes measured from the test pits were compared with volume estimations calculated using Acronym (a computer program), and applying the bed load equations of Meyer-Peter and Muller, Wong and Parker, Ashida and Michue, Fernandez Luque and Van Beek, Engelund and Fredsoe, the Parker fit to Einstein’s relation, Lajeunesse et al., and Wilson, with a critical Shields value ( t #) of 0.06 and 0.03. The study results showed that in all cases the bed load transport volumes measured at sites DSS2 and DSS3 were far smaller than those calculated using the bed load transport equations. For monitoring site DSS1, a few of the bed load transport equations estimated volumes were close to those measured. The Acronym program was used only for sites DSS2 and DSS3 due to difficulties creating the grain size distribution curve at DSS1. Data show that the volumes calculated by Acronym are greater than those measured at both sites. The bed load transport equations used for the project were not applicable to the Sagavanirktok River.