A Dynamic Model for Coastal Mud Flocs with Distributed Fractal Dimension

Chunyang Xu (Lead / Corresponding author), Ping Dong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Suspended sediments entrained from muddy estuarine and coastal areas usually contain a large amount of mud flocs of various sizes and densities. The size and settling velocity of these mud flocs are unsteady and may vary over a large range. In most theoretical descriptions the mud flocs are treated as self-similar fractal entities with the fractal dimension being considered as either a constant or a simple function of the mean floc size. This deterministic description of fractal dimension has recently been found to be inadequate as for a given size class; fractal dimension of the mud flocs is not a single value but is distributed over a certain range. To address this problem this paper proposes a new flocculation model for the temporal evolution of floc size by considering the fractal dimensions for a given floc size class D to be normally distributed and validates the model with available experimental data. The proposed model is found to perform better in predicting the temporal evolution of floc size than that based on a single fixed floc-size-dependent fractal dimension, especially under high shear conditions and with large equilibrium floc size.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-225
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Coastal Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2017


  • Cohesive sediment
  • Floc evolution
  • Flocculation
  • Normal distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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