The Cessation Threshold of Nonsuspended Sediment Transport Across Aeolian and Fluvial Environments Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • 2018. The Authors. Using particle-scale simulations of nonsuspended sediment transport for a large range of Newtonian fluids driving transport, including air and water, we determine the bulk transport cessation threshold rt by extrapolating the transport load as a function of the dimensionless fluid shear stress (Shields number) to the vanishing transport limit. In this limit, the simulated steady states of continuous transport can be described by simple analytical model equations relating the average transport layer properties to the law of the wall flow velocity profile. We use this model to calculate rt for arbitrary environments and derive a general Shields-like threshold diagram in which a Stokes-like number replaces the particle Reynolds number. Despite the simplicity of our hydrodynamic description, the predicted cessation threshold, both from the simulations and analytical model, quantitatively agrees with measurements for transport in air and viscous and turbulent liquids despite not being fitted to these measurements. We interpret the analytical model as a description of a continuous rebound motion of transported particles and thus rt as the minimal fluid shear stress needed to compensate the average energy loss of transported particles during an average rebound at the bed surface. This interpretation, supported by simulations near rt, implies that entrainment mechanisms are needed to sustain transport above rt. While entrainment by turbulent events sustains intermittent transport, entrainment by particle-bed impacts sustains continuous transport. Combining our interpretations with the critical energy criterion for incipient motion by Valyrakis and coworkers, we put forward a new conceptual picture of sediment transport intermittency.

published proceedings

  • JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH-EARTH SURFACE

author list (cited authors)

  • Pahtz, T., & Duran, O.

complete list of authors

  • Pahtz, Thomas||Duran, Orencio

publication date

  • January 1, 2018 11:11 AM