Potential Flow Instability Theory and Bed Forms

by Stephen E. Coleman,
John D. Fenton,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: North American Water and Environment Congress & Destructive Water


An extended, generalised version of two-dimensional linearised potential flow theory of fully unsteady fluid flow-sediment bed interaction is presented. In contrast to previous potential flow instability models, for flow systems of rippled or dune-covered equilibrium beds, fluid-sediment flow system instability is predicted by the present model without the inclusion in the analyses of any explicit phase lag between local flow conditions and local sediment transport rate. Potential flow theory, while not providing an adequate description of bed form generation from plane bed conditions, is nevertheless found to correctly describe instances of accelerated bed form development observed for fluid-sediment flow systems.

Subject Headings: Fluid flow | Potential flow | Bed forms | Sediment transport | Fluidized bed technology | Two-dimensional flow | Linear flow | Sediment

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