River bar predictor

Crosato and Mosselman (2009) developed a simple model to predict the number of river bars which emerge within a cross section at a certain channel width. It may be used to determine the effect of width changes on the morphological appearance.

If your site falls into the range of the tool's applicability (see notes below), enter your data to see the most likely morphological appearance.

Consider that:

  • This tool was derived for channels at equlibrium sediment budget conditions and is not applicable to rivers in inequilibrium or in apparent equilibrium (rivers with silted or armoured river beds).
  • The channel width used for calculations should not exceed the channel width at unconstrained conditions.
  • The widened reach needs to have a sufficient length to allow the development of bars. For estimation of minimum length see: Hunzinger L. (2004)
  • The river needs to possess an alluvial riverbed and to be able to rework its bed during ordinary floods. Large boulders may hinder the morphodynamics related to bar development.



Crosato A, Mosselman E. 2009. Simple physics‐based predictor for the number of river bars and the transition between meandering and braiding. Water Resources Research 45: 1–14.

Hunzinger L. (2004) Flussaufweitungen: Möglichkeiten und Grenzen. Wasser Energie Luft, 96. Jahrgang, 2004, Heft 9/10, CH-5401 Baden, link to article: www.flussbau.ch/pdf/publikationen/Hunzinger_2004.pdf

This project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg Alpine Space programme.