EGU23-10815, updated on 20 Apr 2023
EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Study of morphodynamic change caused by wing dams at large spatio-temporal scale

Gergely T. Török1,2 and Gary Parker3
Gergely T. Török and Gary Parker
  • 1ELKH-BME Water Management Research Group, Eötvös Lóránd Research Network, Budapest, Hungary
  • 2National Laboratory for Water Science and Water Security, Department of Hydraulic and Water Resources Engineering, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Budapest, Hungary (
  • 3Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Department of Geology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, USA (

Low water depth can be a problem for navigation on large rivers. Since the last century, a frequently-used method of river regulation has been the installation of wing dams (wing dikes, spur dikes, groins). With their help, the riverbed narrowed during low water, which created a greater water depth and a higher water level. However, the narrowed flow also generated a higher bed shear stress, which, due to bed erosion, simultaneously increased the water depth and lowered the water level.

From a flood protection point of view, questions arise as to how wing dam fields change flood levels as a result of the bed change caused by such intervention. The complexity of the answer increases if we examine the problem not only in a cross-section (or short reach scale), but at long scale, as in the case of the Mississippi River, USA, where a system of wing dams hundreds of kilometers long was installed.

We analyzed the problem in two steps: we apply a 3D sediment transport model on a local scale, and the results are then upscaled and implemented in a 1D model to enable study of the problem at large spatio-temporal scale (hundreds of km, several centuries).

How to cite: Török, G. T. and Parker, G.: Study of morphodynamic change caused by wing dams at large spatio-temporal scale, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-10815,, 2023.