EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Modeling the planform evolution of confined meandering rivers

Hossein Amini1, Federico Monegaglia1, Simone Zen2, Stefano Lanzoni3, Guido Zolezzi1, and Marco Tubino1
Hossein Amini et al.
  • 1University of Trento, Department of Civil, Mechanics and Environment, Trento, Italy (
  • 2University of Edinburgh, UK
  • 3University of Padova, Department of CIVIL, ENVIRONMENTAL AND ARCHITECTURAL ENGINEERING, Padova, Italy

The presence of lateral planimetric constraints preventing free migration and avulsion has a significant influence on the planform dynamics of river meanders. This particular confined kind of meandering rivers is definitely understudied, especially in comparison to freely migrating ones. Through a semi-analytical meander model, here we attempt to investigate the effect of the confined floodplain width through a morphodynamic modeling approach. The confined floodplain width is defined as the width between symmetric lateral confinement where the river is free to migrate, on the planform pattern and dynamics. Model results illustrate that weak confinement (i.e. loose floodplain boundaries) increases planform irregularity, with the river centerline preferentially lying close to floodplain boundaries, while strong confinement (tight floodplain boundaries) leads to a remarkable planform regularity, constituted by periodic sequences of sawtooth-shaped meanders. Bend orientation is reminiscent of the sub/super-resonant regime regardless of the confinement width. Model results are supported by good agreement with available field and remote sensing observation on selected case studies of confined meandering rivers in Canada previously studied by Nicoll and Hickin (2014).


How to cite: Amini, H., Monegaglia, F., Zen, S., Lanzoni, S., Zolezzi, G., and Tubino, M.: Modeling the planform evolution of confined meandering rivers, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-19941,, 2020.


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