Ocean Dynamics

, Volume 69, Issue 1, pp 51–57 | Cite as

Assessing rheological properties of fluid mud samples through tuning fork data

  • Diego Luiz FonsecaEmail author
  • Patrícia Cunha Marroig
  • Juliane Castro Carneiro
  • Marcos Nicolás Gallo
  • Susana Beatriz Vinzón
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on the 14th International Conference on Cohesive Sediment Transport in Montevideo, Uruguay 13-17 November 2017


At the nautical bottom approach, part of the fluid mud layers can be included in the available depth if they present favorable rheology. As it is difficult to perform in situ rheological profiles, the most adopted procedure is to correlate these properties with other easier measurable ones, typically density. One technique for assessing in situ density profiles is the use of a tuning fork density probe. Density is calculated through frequency and amplitude signals, based in a specific algorithm from the employed device. This method requires a calibration, using local sediment at several densities, as it is conditioned by the rheology of the mud. In order to link the rheological properties of the fluid mud to the response of the tuning fork, first, an algorithm for density calculation was proposed and compared to the standard equipment software. Then, mud samples from different regions in Brazil were employed and a single curve associating the densitometer amplitude signal and the yield stress of the samples was obtained. The proposed approach enables a quick rheological assessment without laboratory rheological tests. It simplifies the steps of the protocol for establishing the critical limit once applying the nautical bottom concept, and it can be replied to other ports and navigation channels.


Nautical bottom Fluid mud Rheology In situ density Tuning fork 


Funding information

The study receives financial support from the following Brazilian Research Agencies: CAPES (scholarship of second author, FAPERJ (scholarship of third author) and CNPQ (grant PQ 310297/2015-0 for the last author).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cohesive Sediments Dynamics Laboratory (LDSC), Coastal and Oceanographic Engineering Area (POLI/COPPE)Federal University of Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil

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