Discrimination of bed form scales using robust spline filters and wavelet transforms: Methods and application to synthetic signals and bed forms of the Río Paraná, Argentina

Ronald R. Gutierrez, Jorge D. Abad, Daniel R. Parsons, James L. Best

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva

52 Citas (Scopus)


There is no standard nomenclature and procedure to systematically identify the scale and magnitude of bed forms such as bars, dunes, and ripples that are commonly present in many sedimentary environments. This paper proposes a standardization of the nomenclature and symbolic representation of bed forms and details the combined application of robust spline filters and continuous wavelet transforms to discriminate these morphodynamic features, allowing the quantitative recognition of bed form hierarchies. Herein the proposed methodology for bed form discrimination is first applied to synthetic bed form profiles, which are sampled at a Nyquist ratio interval of 2.5-50 and a signal-to-noise ratio interval of 1-20 and subsequently applied to a detailed 3-D bed topography from the Río Paraná, Argentina, which exhibits large-scale dunes with superimposed, smaller bed forms. After discriminating the synthetic bed form signals into three-bed form hierarchies that represent bars, dunes, and ripples, the accuracy of the methodology is quantified by estimating the reproducibility, the cross correlation, and the standard deviation ratio of the actual and retrieved signals. For the case of the field measurements, the proposed method is used to discriminate small and large dunes and subsequently obtain and statistically analyze the common morphological descriptors such as wavelength, slope, and amplitude of both stoss and lee sides of these different size bed forms. Analysis of the synthetic signals demonstrates that the Morlet wavelet function is the most efficient in retrieving smaller periodicities such as ripples and smaller dunes and that the proposed methodology effectively discriminates waves of different periods for Nyquist ratios higher than 25 and signal-to-noise ratios higher than 5. The analysis of bed forms in the Río Paraná reveals that, in most cases, a Gamma probability distribution, with a positive skewness, best describes the dimensionless wavelength and amplitude for both the lee and stoss sides of large dunes. For the case of smaller superimposed dunes, the dimensionless wavelength shows a discrete behavior that is governed by the sampling frequency of the data, and the dimensionless amplitude better fits the Gamma probability distribution, again with a positive skewness. This paper thus provides a robust methodology for systematically identifying the scales and magnitudes of bed forms in a range of environments.

Idioma originalInglés
Páginas (desde-hasta)1400-1418
Número de páginas19
PublicaciónJournal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface
EstadoPublicada - 1 set. 2013
Publicado de forma externa


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