Resuspension by saline and particle-driven gravity currents

I. Eames*, A. J. Hogg, S. Gething, S. B. Dalziel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Saline and particle-driven gravity currents play all important role in resuspension by environmental and industrial flows. we develop a model of resuspension by unsteady buoyancy-driven flows by bringing together results front the large body of literature dealing with the dynamics of gravity current and resuspension in channel flows. The criterion for resuspending material of density rho (p) and diameter b is expressed in terms of a modified Shields parameter, Theta = rho (f)u(2)/(rho (p) - rho (f))gb, where u is the depth-averaged velocity within the current and p(f) is the bulk fluid density. The critical modified Shields parameter, Theta (c), which corresponds to the condition when erosion is initiated, is a function of the particle Reynolds number, Re-p = bv(T)/nu, expressed in terms of the terminal fall velocity of the sediment, particles v(T). Particles characterized by Rep much greater than 1 are resuspended when Theta > Theta (c) approximate to 0.04/c(D) where c(D) is the bed drag coefficient. According to this resuspension criterion: a two-dimensional saline gravity current generated by the release of a volume V per unit width of fluid density rho (c) in an ambient fluid rho (a) resuspends material over all erosive distance which scales as (V/b)((rho (c) - rho (a))rho (c)/(rho (p) - rho (c))rho (a))Theta (-1)(c). These results are extended to describe resuspension by particle-driven gravity currents, all analysis complicated by the change of hulk density of the suspension with time as particles sediment from the current. Here the erosive length scale is bounded by the maximum extent, of the particle-driven gravity current. A general form for the vertical. mass flux q(d) is assumed, and the total mass resuspended is calculated ill terms of the initial characteristics of the gravity current, and shown to be a function of the volume V of dense fluid released, independent of the geometry of release, and independent of gravitational acceleration. Complementary laboratory experiments of resuspension by two-dimensional saline and particle-driven gravity currents are presented. These experiments consisted of a lock release of dense fluid running: over a layer of particles. The critical conditions for resuspension were determined for different materials, and the variation of the erosive distance with gravity current characteristics was studied. These observations are discussed with reference to the theoretical model.
Translated title of the contributionResuspension by saline and particle-driven gravity currents
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14095-14111
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Oceans
Issue numberC7
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2001

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Amer Geophysical Union
Other identifier: IDS Number: 452QW


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