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Title: A chaos model of meandering rivers

A meandering river is a nonlinear dynamic system, and fractal geometry describes well the meander bends of such rivers. Based on a qualitative, sedimentological model of the process of meandering, a chaos model is proposed, describing meandering as the outcome of two processes: the feedback interaction between river curvature and a high-velocity thalweg channel within the river; and the interaction between meander bends causing abandonment and straightening of the river course. The system, when initiated from a nearly straight river course, moves toward a dynamic equilibrium in which the meander bends are fractal. This development is a case of self-organized criticality. The equilibrium represents a state of optimal energy dissipation in a situation where two counteracting processes are balancing each other. Sedimentology may be seen as the science that describes how nonlinear dynamic processes interact to create a depositional system. As indicated by the example of meandering rivers, the use of chaos and fractal models may give sedimentology a new turn toward understanding sedimentary processes and the 3-D architecture of sediment bodies.
Authors:
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
7259285
Report Number(s):
CONF-910403--
Journal ID: ISSN 0149-1423; CODEN: AABUD
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: AAPG Bulletin (American Association of Petroleum Geologists); (United States); Journal Volume: 75:3; Conference: Annual meeting of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), Dallas, TX (United States), 7-10 Apr 1991
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; RIVERS; DYNAMIC LOADS; FLOW MODELS; WATER CURRENTS; FRACTALS; HYDROLOGY; SEDIMENTATION; SITE CHARACTERIZATION; TOPOLOGY; WATERSHEDS; CURRENTS; MATHEMATICAL MODELS; MATHEMATICS; STREAMS; SURFACE WATERS 580000* -- Geosciences; 540310 -- Environment, Aquatic-- Basic Studies-- (1990-)