Experimental Study of Fine Sand Particle Settling in Turbulent Open Channel Flows over Rough Porous Beds

A. J. Cuthbertson, D. A. Ervine

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33 Citations (Scopus)


Results are presented from laboratory studies investigating the behavior of fine sand particles within turbulent open channel flow conditions flowing over rough, porous beds. A particle tracking technique was employed to record and analyze sand particle motion within the flow, while mean and fluctuating flow velocities were measured by an acoustic Doppler velocimeter probe. Measured particle settling rates show a strong influence from flow turbulence, being generally enhanced in the near-bed and intermediate flow regions and retarded in the outer flow region, compared to their fall velocity in still water conditions. Experiments also reveal the relative degree of settling enhancement to increase with decreasing particle size. Correlation between particle and small-scale fluid motions is demonstrated through a quadrant analysis technique, with higher-order events for the two phases found to be dominated by ejections and sweeps associated with the bursting process. Particle interactions with large-scale turbulent flow structures, revealed through flow visualization with a moving frame of reference, are found to result in particle accumulation in peripheral trajectories on the downflow side of local eddy structures. Analytical and theoretical considerations suggest that both these turbulence scales provide preferential transportation mechanisms that will account for the enhanced sand particle settling rates observed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)905-916
JournalJournal of Hydraulic Engineering
Issue number8
Early online date1 Aug 2007
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007


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