Experimental Investigation of Density-Driven Hyperconcentrated Flows

by P. D. Scarlatos, Florida Atlantic Univ, Boca Raton, United States,
B. J. Wilder, Florida Atlantic Univ, Boca Raton, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulics/Hydrology of Arid Lands (H²AL)


Lock-exchange type of laboratory experiments have been conducted in order to evaluate the dynamical characteristics of density-driven hyperconcentrated fluid mud. Fluid mud, confined in one end of the channel was released through a gate opening into the receiving fresh water, and its density-driven motion was monitored. Experiments included various concentrations of water-kaolinite and natural mud mixtures. The results documented a very thin hyperconcentrated wedge moving along the bottom, and a much thicker turbidity current flowing over the wedge. The turbidity current eventually covered the entire water mass of the channel through diffusion processes. Shear instabilities of the Kelvin-Helmholtz type were recorded at the interface of the propagating turbid cloud and the overlaying water.

Subject Headings: Density currents | Fluid flow | Wedges | Water flow | Gates (hydraulic) | Fresh water | Solids flow | Motion (dynamics)

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