TY - JOUR

T1 - Precessive sand ripples in intense steady shear flows

AU - Restrepo, Juan M.

AU - Moulton, Derek E.

AU - Uys, Hermann

PY - 2011/3/16

Y1 - 2011/3/16

N2 - We describe experimental observations of fully developed, large-amplitude bars under the action of a shearing fluid. The experiments were performed in an annular tank filled with water and sheared above by a steady motor source. The same steady shearing flow can produce a variety of different erodible bed manifestations: advective or precessive bars, which refer to bar structures with global regularity and a near-steady precession velocity; interactive bars, the structure of which depends on local rearrangements, which are in turn a response to complex background topography; and dispersive bars, which are created when an initially isolated mound of sand evolves into a train of sand ripples. Of these, the most amenable to analysis are the precessive bars. For precession bars, we find that the skin depth, which is the nondimensionalized mean-field transport rate, grows exponentially as a function of the shear velocity. From this, we arrive at an analytical expression that approximates the precession speed of the bars as a function of shear velocity. We use this to obtain a formula for sediment transport rate. However, in intense flows, the bars can get large engendering boundary layer separation, leading to a different dynamic for bar formation and evolution. Numerical flow calculations over an experimentally obtained set of precessive bars are presented and show that classical parametrizations of mass flux in terms of bottom gradients have shortcomings. Within the range of shear rates considered, a quantity that does not change appreciably in time is the aspect ratio, which is defined as the ratio of the average bar amplitude, with respect to a mean depth, to the average bar length.

AB - We describe experimental observations of fully developed, large-amplitude bars under the action of a shearing fluid. The experiments were performed in an annular tank filled with water and sheared above by a steady motor source. The same steady shearing flow can produce a variety of different erodible bed manifestations: advective or precessive bars, which refer to bar structures with global regularity and a near-steady precession velocity; interactive bars, the structure of which depends on local rearrangements, which are in turn a response to complex background topography; and dispersive bars, which are created when an initially isolated mound of sand evolves into a train of sand ripples. Of these, the most amenable to analysis are the precessive bars. For precession bars, we find that the skin depth, which is the nondimensionalized mean-field transport rate, grows exponentially as a function of the shear velocity. From this, we arrive at an analytical expression that approximates the precession speed of the bars as a function of shear velocity. We use this to obtain a formula for sediment transport rate. However, in intense flows, the bars can get large engendering boundary layer separation, leading to a different dynamic for bar formation and evolution. Numerical flow calculations over an experimentally obtained set of precessive bars are presented and show that classical parametrizations of mass flux in terms of bottom gradients have shortcomings. Within the range of shear rates considered, a quantity that does not change appreciably in time is the aspect ratio, which is defined as the ratio of the average bar amplitude, with respect to a mean depth, to the average bar length.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=79953152991&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1103/PhysRevE.83.031305

DO - 10.1103/PhysRevE.83.031305

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:79953152991

SN - 1539-3755

VL - 83

JO - Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics

JF - Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics

IS - 3

M1 - 031305

ER -