Abstract

The lower William River in northwestern Saskatchewan, Canada, presents an excellent and unambiguous example of rapid channel adjustment to abrupt additions of sandy bed load. A relatively narrow and deep single-channel stream as it flows northward to Lake Athabasca, the river picks up a 40-fold increase of bed load over a 27-km reach as it encounters a large dune field just south of the lake. As a result of the large infusion of eolian sand, the channel develops a thoroughly braided pattern while undergoing a 5-fold increase in width and a 10-fold increase in width/depth ratio.

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