We develop a one-dimensional model to describe the dynamics of turbidity current flowing in submarine channels. We consider the flow as a steady state polydisperse suspension accounting for water detrainment from the clear water-turbid interface, for spatial variations of the channel width and for water and sediment lateral overspill from the channel levees. Moreover, we account for sediment exchange with the bed extending the model to deal with situations where the current meets a nonerodible bed. Results show that when water detrainment is accounted for, the flow thickness becomes approximately constant proceeding downstream. Similarly, in the presence of channel levees, the flow tends to adjust to channel relief through the lateral loss of water and sediment. As more mud is spilled above the levees relative to sand, the flow becomes more sand rich proceeding downstream when lateral overspill is present. Velocity and flow thickness predicted by the model are then validated by showing good agreement with laboratory observations. Finally, the model is applied to the Monterey Canyon bathymetric data matching satisfactorily the December 2002 event field measurements and predicting a runout length consistent with observations.

A Gradually Varied Approach to Model Turbidity Currents in Submarine Channels

Bolla Pittaluga, M.;Frascati, A.;
2018

Abstract

We develop a one-dimensional model to describe the dynamics of turbidity current flowing in submarine channels. We consider the flow as a steady state polydisperse suspension accounting for water detrainment from the clear water-turbid interface, for spatial variations of the channel width and for water and sediment lateral overspill from the channel levees. Moreover, we account for sediment exchange with the bed extending the model to deal with situations where the current meets a nonerodible bed. Results show that when water detrainment is accounted for, the flow thickness becomes approximately constant proceeding downstream. Similarly, in the presence of channel levees, the flow tends to adjust to channel relief through the lateral loss of water and sediment. As more mud is spilled above the levees relative to sand, the flow becomes more sand rich proceeding downstream when lateral overspill is present. Velocity and flow thickness predicted by the model are then validated by showing good agreement with laboratory observations. Finally, the model is applied to the Monterey Canyon bathymetric data matching satisfactorily the December 2002 event field measurements and predicting a runout length consistent with observations.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11567/888397
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