Influence of turbulence on bed load sediment transport

B. Mutlu Sumer, L. Chua, N. S. Cheng, Jørgen Fredsøe

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    This paper summarizes the results of an experimental study on the influence of an external turbulence field on the bedload sediment transport in an open channel. The external turbulence was generated by: (1) with a horizontal pipe placed halfway through the depth, h; (2) with a series of grids with a clearance of about one-third of the depth from the bed, and extending over a finite length of the flume; and (3) with a series of grids with a clearance in the range (0.1 - 1.0)h from the bed, but extending over the entire length of the flume. Two kinds of experiments were conducted: the plane-bed experiments and the ripple-covered-bed experiments. In the former case, the flow in the presence of the turbulence generator was adjusted so that the mean bed shear stress was the same as in the case without the turbulence generator in order to single out the effect of the external turbulence on the sediment transport. In the ripple-covered-bed case, the mean and turbulence quantities of the streamwise component of the velocity were measured, and the Shields parameter, due to skin friction, was determined. The Shields parameter, together with the r.m.s. value of the streamwise velocity fluctuations, were correlated with the sediment transport rate. The sediment transport increases markedly with increasing turbulence level.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Hydraulic Engineering ASCE
    Pages (from-to)585-596.
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


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