Behavior of Sediment-Laden Plumes on Steep Slopes

by Patrick J. Ryan, Bechtel Inc, San Francisco, CA, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Forum '86: World Water Issues in Evolution


The near field behavior of dense, sediment-laden flows on steep slopes was investigated as part of a study of mine tailings disposal. A literature review indicated that field and laboratory data were very limited and that no validated models existed covering this type of behavior. Simple analytical models and limited laboratory data were used to generate dilution vs. distance curves. These models assumed no deposition in the immediate vicinity of the outfall, and indicated relatively high levels of dilution that were strongly dependent on the bed slope. Later, physical model studies were performed at a 1:50 scale, and the effect of parameters such as bed slope, outfall diameter and velocity, and effluent density was investigated. Contrary to the assumptions used in developing the simple analytical models there was a large amount of near-outfall deposition, which resulted in significant changes to the plume behavior.

Subject Headings: Plumes | Slopes | Sediment | Field tests | Physical models | Mine wastes | Dilution | Soil properties

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