Ripple Profiles Modeled Mathematically

by Albert G. Mercer, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO,
M. Ikramul Haque, Grad. Student; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1973, Vol. 99, Issue 3, Pg. 441-459

Document Type: Journal Paper


Fundamental to the mechanics of ripple and dune behavior is the eddy zone in the lee of the bedform. A profile model based on irrotational flow and incorporating an eddy zone is presented as an advancement on sinusoidal profile models. Velocity and pressure data taken from a styrofoam replica of the profile model are compared to those obtained theoretically assuming irrotational flow and also to those obtained theoretically assuming inviscid rotational flow. The latter shows good agreement with the experimental results. A complete model of bedform behavior involves the relationship between the bedform profile, the flow over the bedform, and the sediment transport over the bedform. The relationship between bedform profile and the sediment transport is exact and well known. A model of the relationship between the profile and the flow is presented in this paper.

Subject Headings: Bed forms | Flow profiles | Sediment transport | Rotational flow | Mathematical models | Mathematics | Eddy (fluid dynamics) | Pressurized flow

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