Gravel bar morphodynamics

Scientific issue

Here we seek to understand the dynamics of a forced gravel bar in interaction with differenttypes of flood event (natural or flushing), i.e. the evolution of secondary and transverse channels and surface grain size distribution.

Scientific questions

  • Effect of the shape of the flood event on the general evolution of a gravel bar
  • Dynamics of secondary channels
  • Evaluation of bedload on a gravel bar
  • Evolution of the surface grain size distribution


This work is mainly based on field experimentations on the River  Arc-en-Maurienne river of the Arc-Isère ZABR workshop site. Two quasi-stationary gravel bars located upstream of Sainte-Marie-de-Cuines were studied; the first, named MJ following the doctorates of M. Jodeau and M. Jaballah, was the subject of detailed studies of its morphodynamics, while the second, a little further upstream, was the subject of studies of the mobility of coarse material and the dynamics of fine deposits within the framework of projects in collaboration with EDF-CIH.

Differences in DTMs of the MJ gravel bar describing morphological changes following the June 2006 flushing (a), the September 2006 flood (b), the May 2008 flood (c), the June 2010 flood (d) and the June 2012 flood (e) Photo of the experiments carried out during the 2015 flush (LSPIV, patches with PIT-tags, infiltration trench)

Projects, PhD and postdoctoral projects


  • 2014-2015: Water agency project “Methodology for lidar data processing to measure the river bed morphology”

PhD thesis and postdoctoral projects

  • 2010-2013 : Jaballah M. Influence des sédiments fins sur la dynamique d’une rivière de montagne aménagée : l’Arc en Maurienne. Université C. Bernard, Lyon 1. 195 p.
  • 2004-2007: Jodeau M. Morphodynamique d’un banc de galets en rivière aménagée lors de crues, Université Claude Bernard, Lyon I, 205p.


  • Jaballah, M., Camenen, B., Paquier, A. & Jodeau, M. (en préparation) Mid-term morphodynamics of a gravel bar in an engineered Alpine river
  • Jaballah, M., Camenen, B., Paquier, A. & Jodeau, M. (en révision pour IJSR) An optimized use of limited ground based topographic data for river applications.
  • Camenen, B., Perret, E., Herrero, A., Berni, C., Thollet, F., Buffet, A., Dramais, G., Le Bescond C., & Lagouy M. (2016). Estimation of the volume of a fine sediment deposit over a gravel bar during a flushing event. Proc. River Flow conference, St Louis, Missouri, USA, July 2016, CDRom, pp. 533-540.
  • Camenen, B., Herrero, A., Dramais, G., Thollet, F., Le Bescond, C., Perret, E., & Berni, C. (2015). Field experiment on the dynamics of fine and coarse sediments over a gravel bar in an alpine river. Proc. 36th IAHR World Congress, La Haye, Pays Bas, June 2015, 8p.
  • Camenen B., Jodeau M. & Jaballah M. (2013). Estimate of fine sediment deposit dynamics over a gravel bar using photography analysis. Int. J. of Sediment Res. 28(2): 220-233.
  • Camenen B., Le Coz J., Paquier A. & Lagouy M. (2010). An estimation of gravel mobility over an alpine river gravel bar (Arc en Maurienne, France) using PIT-tag tracers. River Flow 2010 International Conference, Brauschweig, Allemagne, Sept. 2010. pp. 953-960