Present understanding of armour formation and the dynamics of grain entrainment and movement, especially in natural environments with coarse and poorly‐sorted bed material, is still incomplete. There are many details which require further field observation for clarification and hypothesis testing, including aspects of grain interaction during bedload transport. Evidence from the Tambo River suggests that there may be mechanisms of armour development which have significance in certain field situations but which have been relatively neglected in the literature. The particular mechanism envisaged for the Tambo River involves the accumulation on the bed surface of large clasts which had been moving as an overpassing traction carpet. These clasts are not genetically related to the underlying subarmour sediments, but nonetheless act as an armour which protects them from scour, and which hence affects grain mobility and bedload transport rates.
- Bedload movement
- Gravel stream