Mechanics of Mud Flows in Curved Channels with Uneven Beds

by J. Dungan Smith, Univ. of Washington, United States,
Jonathan M. Nelson, Univ. of Washington, United States,

Abstract: Most natural debris flows move through paths that are curved and that have significant bed topography. Owing to the dependence of the mechanics of wet debris containing substantial amounts of fine material on the invariants of the deviatoric stress tensor, the stress fields produced by channel curvature and bed morphology play a critical role in establishing the effective rheology of rapidly moving mud. In most natural systems, the flow rate is controlled almost completely by channel topography and planiform and by available water, rather than by any inherent constitutive structure of wet sediment. As a first step in a comprehensive investigation of the interactions among local constitutive structure, water mobility, and channel geometry, we examine in this paper the velocity and boundary shear stress fields produced by material with a simple rheology and with constant material coefficients, as it flows down a moderately curved channel with a parabolic cross-section, and then through a channel displaying residual bar-pool topography.

Subject Headings: Channel flow | Curvature | Water flow | Debris | Solids flow | Topography | Mud | Fluid flow

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