|Direct observation of the formation and break-up of aggregates in an annular flume using laser reflectance particle sizing|
|Bale, A.J.; Uncles, R.J.; Widdows, J.; Brinsley, M.D.; Barrett, C.D. (2002). Direct observation of the formation and break-up of aggregates in an annular flume using laser reflectance particle sizing, in: Winterwerp, J.C. et al. (Ed.) (2002). Fine sediment dynamics in the marine environment. Proceedings in Marine Science, 5: pp. 189-201|
|In: Winterwerp, J.C.; Kranenburg, C. (Ed.) (2002). Fine sediment dynamics in the marine environment. Proceedings in Marine Science, 5. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISBN 0-444-51136-9. XV, 713 pp., more|
|In: Proceedings in Marine Science. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 1568-2692, more|
suspended particles; aggregation; estuaries; particle sizing; annular flume
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Experiments have been carried out to examine the aggregation of natural estuarine suspended sediment under controlled conditions in an annular flume programmed to simulate oscillating tidal currents in an estuary. The size distribution of the suspended particles was measured in-situ using a Lasentec P-100 laser-reflectance particle sizer with the sensing probe inserted directly through the wall of the flume. Parallel measurements of the solids concentration were made using a calibrated OBS sensor. The flume was filled with river water collected from above the influence of salt water. Various quantities of natural estuary sediment were added to the flume to provide solids concentrations of nominally 100, 800 and 4000 mg.l-1. A series of experiments was performed in which the flume was run through consecutive, four hour cycles where the mean current velocity in the flume changed sinusoidally from 5 to 45 cm sec-1. For each sediment concentration the experiment was repeated with some of the fresh water replaced by particle-free seawater to give salinities of 0, 0.2, 2.0 and 10. Over a typical velocity cycle, suspended sediment concentrations decreased with decreasing current velocity, initially slowly, and then more rapidly. The concentration and size of material in suspension minimised over the low velocity period as particles settled. After a certain lag, sediment erosion occurred with increasing velocity and suspended solids concentration increased to a point where all the sediment was in suspension. The particle size data showed that during declining velocity conditions the median size of the particles initially increased as velocity decreased and then decreased as settling of the larger particles from suspension outweighed the aggregation process. During the erosion phase the median diameters increased initially but then decreased and levelled off as current velocity increased further. This was interpreted as mobilisation of aggregated particles followed by breakage as velocity increased. In general the degree of aggregation, and thus deposition, increased with salinity and with solids concentration. Solids concentration had by far the greatest effect on aggregation and deposition rate.