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


  • Using particlescale 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 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 for arbitrary environments and derive a general Shieldslike threshold diagram in which a Stokeslike 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 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 , implies that entrainment mechanisms are needed to sustain transport above . While entrainment by turbulent events sustains intermittent transport, entrainment by particlebed 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


altmetric score

  • 4.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Pahtz, T., & Duran, O.

citation count

  • 54

complete list of authors

  • Pahtz, Thomas||Duran, Orencio

publication date

  • August 2018