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The joint probability distribution of streamwise particle hop distance, lateral particle hop distance, and travel time constrains the relationships between topographic change and sediment transport at the granular scale. Previous studies have investigated the ensemble characteristics of particle motions over plane bed topography; however, it is unclear whether reported distributions remain valid when bedforms are present. Here, we present measurements of particle motion over bedform topography obtained in a laboratory flume and compare these to particle motions over plane bed topography with otherwise similar conditions. We find substantial differences in particle motion in the presence of bedforms that are relevant to macroscopic models of sediment transport. Most notably, bedforms increase the standard deviation of streamwise and lateral hop distances relative to the mean streamwise hop distance. This implies that bedforms increase the streamwise and lateral diffusion lengths and, equivalently, increase diffusive-like fluxes.

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Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface


Copyright Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface

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