The Importance of Splat Events to the Spatiotemporal Structure of Near-Bed Fluid Velocity and Bed Load Motion Over Bed Forms: Laboratory Experiments Downstream of a Backward Facing Step

K. C.P. Leary, Mark Schmeeckle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Flow separation/reattachment on the lee side of alluvial bed forms is known to produce a complex turbulence field, but the spatiotemporal details of the associated patterns of bed load sediment transported remain largely unknown. Here we report turbulence-resolving, simultaneous measurements of bed load motion and near-bed fluid velocity downstream of a backward facing step in a laboratory flume. Two synchronized high-speed video cameras simultaneously observed bed load motion and the motion of neutrally buoyant particles in a laser light sheet 6 mm above the bed at 250 frames/s downstream of a 3.8 cm backward facing step. Particle Imaging Velocimetry (PIV) and Acoustic Doppler Velocimetry (ADV) were used to characterize fluid turbulent patterns, while manual particle tracking techniques were used to characterize bed load transport. Octant analysis, conducted using ADV data, coupled with Markovian sequence probability analysis highlights differences in the flow near reattachment versus farther downstream. Near reattachment, three distinct flow patterns are apparent. Farther downstream we see the development of a dominant flow sequence. Localized, intermittent, high-magnitude transport events are more apparent near flow reattachment. These events are composed of streamwise and cross-stream fluxes of comparable magnitudes. Transport pattern and fluid velocity data are consistent with the existence of permeable "splat events," wherein a volume of fluid moves toward and impinges on the bed (sweep) causing a radial movement of fluid in all directions around the point of impingement (outward interaction). This is congruent with flow patterns, identified with octant analysis, proximal to flow reattachment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2017

Keywords

  • Bed forms
  • Sediment transport
  • Splat events
  • Turbulent structures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Forestry
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Palaeontology

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