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How Boltzmann statistics govern a river's shape

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Doris Allen.

Alluvial rivers build their bed with the sediment they transport. As they do so, they spontaneously generate a beautiful variety of shapes, including meanders, braids and ramified networks. Despite this wonderful variety, rivers show remarkably consistent features: their size, slope and shape are tightly related to water discharge and sediment load. Using laboratory experiments, we will investigate the mechanisms responsible for this consistency, and illustrate how trembling sand grains dictate to the Amazon River its own width.

This talk is part of the Geophysical and Environmental Processes series.

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