Sediment Entrainment and Transport in Complex Flows

  • Jonathan M. Nelson
  • Mark W. Schmeeckle
  • Ronald L. Shreve
  • Stephen R. McLean


Predicting the entrainment and transport rates of sediment grains making up an erodible bed underlying an arbitrary flow field requires a mechanistic understanding of the coupling between the flow and the forces on sediment grains. To help develop such an understanding, a suite of flow and sediment-transport experiments are described; these may be loosely divided into two categories. First, measurements of near-bed flow structure and sediment motion in a variety of spatially or temporally accelerating flows are used to show the manner in which changes in flow structure can impact sediment entrainment and transport. Second, direct high-frequency measurements of lift and drag on sediment particles in various turbulent flows are used to make a more direct connection between nearbed flow structure and sediment dynamics. Taken together, these experiments show how even changes in turbulence structure due to spatial and/or temporal accelerations can have a significant effect on the sediment-transport field. Finally, a method is briefly outlined for predicting sediment motion under arbitrary flows using either measured nearbed velocity time series or flow information predicted from direct numerical simulations or large-eddy simulations.


Sediment Transport Streamwise Velocity Sediment Flux Velocity Time Series Sediment Entrainment 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan M. Nelson
    • 1
  • Mark W. Schmeeckle
    • 2
  • Ronald L. Shreve
    • 3
  • Stephen R. McLean
    • 4
  1. 1.National Research ProgramU.S. Geological SurveyDenverUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeologyFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA
  3. 3.Department of Earth and Space SciencesUCLALos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Department of Ocean EngineeringUCSBSanta BarbaraUSA

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