Sediment mass movement of a particle-laden turbidity current based on ultrasound velocity profiling and the distribution of sediment concentration

Particle-laden flows or turbidity currents along the seafloor are important to the formation and erosion of submarine topography. To understand the mass-transport process, flume tests were carried out with a continuous supply of quartz-laden suspension. The vertical and horizontal velocities were extracted by two pairs of ultrasound Doppler velocity profilers installed at different angles with respect to the bed-normal direction. Due to the head intrusion into the ambient water, the sediment in the suspension was continuously lifted up and mixed, leaving lobes and clefts. The velocity-maximum layer acted as the main sediment conveyor and divided the body into wall and jet regions. The concentration distribution was also quantified based on the Relationship between the fluid density and the intensity of light attenuation obtained using a video recording. An area of high sediment concentration was observed just behind the head frontal area. Analysis of the velocity and concentration distribution demonstrated that sediment in the turbidity current was transported mainly by head movement and that continuous sedimentation took place in the wall region. The results indicate that a turbidity current proceeds while maintaining an ordered inner dynamic structure.

Published in:
Geological Society of London, Special Publication, 477
May 01 2018

 Record created 2018-05-22, last modified 2019-03-17

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