Bedload transport: measurement and modelling

Scientific issue

In direct connection with developments in hydrometry, the team has made a major effort to measure bedload in rivers, focusing in particular on Alpine rivers where measurement remains complex.

Scientific questions

  • Contribution of the different bedload measurements (sampler, hydrophone, tracer) to the understanding of bedload dynamics in alpine rivers
  • How to establish a sediment rating curve?  What uncertainties are there in sediment rating curves?

Methods and results

Important work on the different methodologies to measure bedload has been carried out, either from a bridge or from a boat (Camenen et al., 2012). In collaboration with IGE and T. Geay, comparative measurements were also obtained in order to discuss and develop the hydrophone tool (Camenen et al., 2012, Geay et al., 2017). Also, the monitoring of Pit-Tag tracers on a gravel barof the Arc in the Maurienne region has made it possible to discuss the advantages and limitations of such a tool on an alpine river (Camenen et al., 2010).

In parallel, we are working on sedimentation rating curves based on transport capacity formulas applied to a river section (Camenen et al., 2011, 2012, 2014).

Sampling measurements from a bridge on the River Arc and associated sediment rating curve (Camenen et al., 2012; Geay et al., 2017).

Pit-tag tracer displacement on the River Arc  (Camenen et al, 2010).


  • 2019-2022: ANR DEAR project (Deposit and erosion of fine sediments in Alpine Rivers)
  • 2014-2015: Water Agency projet “Methodology of Lidar data processing for the river morphology”
  • 2011-2012: Water Agency projet “Estimation of bedload transport: a methodology proposal for to alpine rivers and application on a restauration survey”


Inrae Grenbole, team Hydrim, IGE, Burgeap, EDF, Univ. Tours

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.


  • Geay T., Belleudy, P., Laronne, J.B., Camenen, B. & Gervaise, C. (2017). Spectral variations of underwater river sounds. Earth Surface Processes & Landforms, 42(14):2447-2456.
  • Camenen, B., Le Coz, J., Dramais, G., Peteuil, C., Fretaud, T., Falgon, A., Dussouillez, P., Moore, S. A. (2014). A simple physically-based model for predicting sand transport dynamics in the Lower Mekong River. Proc. River Flow conference, Lausanne, Switzerland, 8p.
  • Camenen, B., Jaballah, M., Geay, T., Belleudy, P ., Laronne, J.B., & Laskowski, J.P. (2012). Tentative measurements of bedload transport in an energetic alpine gravel bed river. River Flow, San Jose, Costa Rica, Sept. 2012. pp. 379-386.
  • Camenen B., Holubova K., Lukac M., Le Coz J. & Paquier A. (2011). Assessment of the methods using 1D modelling for computing bedload transport in a large river: the Danube River in Slovakia. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering 137(10): 1190-1199.
  • 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