Initial Instability of Fine Bed Sand

by Anthony J. Grass, Lectuer; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Univ. Coll., London, England,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1970, Vol. 96, Issue 3, Pg. 619-632

Document Type: Journal Paper


The initial entrainment characteristics of fine bed sand are objectively defined in terms of the measured distributions of critical instantaneous bed shear stress associated with the observed movement of individual surface grains. Critical flow conditions are then predicted by equating the lower extremes in these characteristic critical shear stress distributions to the upper extremes in the distribution of instantaneous bed shear stress produced by the particular type of background flow under consideration. The method is applied to the case of two-dimensional channel flow over a flat bed and yields sufficiently consistent results to suggest an extension to Shields' curve for small grain Reynolds numbers. The detailed experimental observations clearly illustrate the important role played by bed region turbulence in the interaction process between the fluid and the mobile bed grains constituting the deformable boundary.

Subject Headings: Shear stress | Stress distribution | Grain (material) | Bed materials | Sand (hydraulic) | Sandy soils | Critical flow | Flow distribution

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