Skiing and Sediment Transport

Downhill skiing can be an analogy for sediment transport in fluvial systems. Skiers that stay on their feet can be thought of as suspended particles. Skiers that end up summersaulting can be thought of as incipiently suspended load. Skiers that fall flat on their face can be thought of as bedload where the critical shear stress is greater than the basal shear stress, so they won’t move.