American Society of Civil Engineers

Seepage Effects on Dune Dimensions

by Yan Lu, (Postdoctoral Fellow, River and Harbor Engrg. Dept., nanjing Hydr. Res. Inst., China, 210029; formerly, Ph.D. Student, School of Civ. and Envir. Engrg., Nanyang Technological Univ., Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798) and Yee-Meng Chiew, M.ASCE, (Prof., School of Civ. and Envir. Engrg., Nanyang Technological Univ., Nanyang Ave., Singapore 639798)

Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, Vol. 133, No. 5, May 2007, pp. 560-563, (doi:

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Document type: Technical Note
Abstract: This note presents an experimental study of seepage effects on the dimensions of a dune: its height, length and lee-side slope. The critical slope of a cohesionless material was found to be related to the ratio of the hydraulic gradient of seepage to its critical value under the quick condition. The theoretical relationship is successfully used to predict seepage effects on the lee-side slope of dunes. Measured laboratory data support the assumption that the effect of seepage on the lee-side slope of dunes is the same as that on the critical slope of the sediment. The data reveal that the slope is reduced and increased with injection and suction, respectively. Additionally, the study explores seepage effects on the development of dune height and length. Experimental results show that suction and injection increase and decrease the equilibrium height of dunes by 25 and 40%, respectively. On the other hand, the dune length is found to increase by approximately 30% and decrease by 20% under the influence of suction and injection, respectively.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Hydraulic engineering
Sediment transport