Granular Matter

, 18:15 | Cite as

Sand suspension deposition in horizontal low-concentration slurry pipe flows

  • J. A. R. BoulangerEmail author
  • C. Y. Wong
Original Paper


Detailed observations in a slurry transparent horizontal loop of the sand transport deposition regime, ranging from fully suspended particles to bed motion as a train of dunes, are reported. Deposition, or scouring, is known as a deleterious sand transport regime in view of pipeline erosion. The two velocity thresholds limiting the deposition regime: the critical sand-carrying velocity threshold or deposition threshold below which particles begin to deposit, and the minimum conveying velocity threshold, below which particles cannot be suspended anymore and self-organize into dunes, span about 20 % of the bulk velocity such that detection of the beginning of the deposition provides a margin of safety before accumulation risks. Observed moving, snaking structures are likely to be the actors of the reckoned erosion on pipelines bottom in this scouring regime. From a digital treatment of the videos of the deposited particles, the deposition regime presents a salient characteristic: a consistent increase in the number of detected entities as the bulk velocity decreases down to a brutal trend inversion once all particles are eventually deposited and self-organise and hide into dunes. The findings are, in a first approximation, independent of the sand size and concentration, for the cases considered, and provide a basis for the design of monitoring methods for systematic detection of the deposition regime.


Sand production management Sand transport Sand deposition Pipeline Scouring 



The authors express their appreciation to the CSIRO technical staff for their assistance in conducting the experiments. The contribution of Dr. Robert Stewart in performing initial image analysis is gratefully acknowledged. This work was supported by CSIRO appropriation funding from the Minerals Down Under Flagship. Journal editorial reviewers as well as internal CSIRO reviewers are acknowledged for their contribution to the improvement of the manuscript.

Supplementary material

Supplementary material 1 (divx 19764 KB)

Supplementary material 2 (divx 38822 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research OrganisationClaytonAustralia

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