The role of suspended load transport in the occurrence of tidal sand waves

B.W. Borsje, W.M. Kranenburg, P.C. Roos, J. Matthieu, S.J.M.H. Hulscher

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Abstract

Tidal sand waves are dynamic bed patterns which are formed by the complex interaction between hydrodynamics, sediment transport, and geomorphology. Field data from the southern North Sea reveal that sand waves are absent where suspended load transport is the dominant transport mode. In order to understand the mechanisms responsible for the absence of sand waves, we study the influence of suspended load transport on the formation of tidal sand waves with a numerical process-based geomorphological model (Delft3D). Model simulations are presented in which the vertical eddy viscosity and sediment diffusivity are both spatially and temporally variable (k-ε turbulence model). First, it is shown that the preferred wavelength of sand waves for a relatively large grain size increases by the inclusion of suspended sediment, while for a relatively small grain size the flat bed is stable and no sand waves evolve. Second, it is shown that suspended load transport causes the suppression of long sand waves, resulting in a finite range of wavelengths that experience growth. Finally, by varying flow velocity amplitude and grain size, critical conditions for sand wave formation are found, i.e., conditions for which sand waves are marginally generated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)701-716
JournalJournal of geophysical research. Earth surface
Volume119
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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sand wave
suspended load
grain size
wavelength
flow velocity
diffusivity
suspended sediment
geomorphology
sediment transport
eddy
viscosity
turbulence
hydrodynamics

Keywords

  • IR-91834
  • METIS-289151

Cite this

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title = "The role of suspended load transport in the occurrence of tidal sand waves",
abstract = "Tidal sand waves are dynamic bed patterns which are formed by the complex interaction between hydrodynamics, sediment transport, and geomorphology. Field data from the southern North Sea reveal that sand waves are absent where suspended load transport is the dominant transport mode. In order to understand the mechanisms responsible for the absence of sand waves, we study the influence of suspended load transport on the formation of tidal sand waves with a numerical process-based geomorphological model (Delft3D). Model simulations are presented in which the vertical eddy viscosity and sediment diffusivity are both spatially and temporally variable (k-ε turbulence model). First, it is shown that the preferred wavelength of sand waves for a relatively large grain size increases by the inclusion of suspended sediment, while for a relatively small grain size the flat bed is stable and no sand waves evolve. Second, it is shown that suspended load transport causes the suppression of long sand waves, resulting in a finite range of wavelengths that experience growth. Finally, by varying flow velocity amplitude and grain size, critical conditions for sand wave formation are found, i.e., conditions for which sand waves are marginally generated.",
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The role of suspended load transport in the occurrence of tidal sand waves. / Borsje, B.W.; Kranenburg, W.M.; Roos, P.C.; Matthieu, J.; Hulscher, S.J.M.H.

In: Journal of geophysical research. Earth surface, Vol. 119, No. 4, 2014, p. 701-716.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The role of suspended load transport in the occurrence of tidal sand waves

AU - Borsje, B.W.

AU - Kranenburg, W.M.

AU - Roos, P.C.

AU - Matthieu, J.

AU - Hulscher, S.J.M.H.

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - Tidal sand waves are dynamic bed patterns which are formed by the complex interaction between hydrodynamics, sediment transport, and geomorphology. Field data from the southern North Sea reveal that sand waves are absent where suspended load transport is the dominant transport mode. In order to understand the mechanisms responsible for the absence of sand waves, we study the influence of suspended load transport on the formation of tidal sand waves with a numerical process-based geomorphological model (Delft3D). Model simulations are presented in which the vertical eddy viscosity and sediment diffusivity are both spatially and temporally variable (k-ε turbulence model). First, it is shown that the preferred wavelength of sand waves for a relatively large grain size increases by the inclusion of suspended sediment, while for a relatively small grain size the flat bed is stable and no sand waves evolve. Second, it is shown that suspended load transport causes the suppression of long sand waves, resulting in a finite range of wavelengths that experience growth. Finally, by varying flow velocity amplitude and grain size, critical conditions for sand wave formation are found, i.e., conditions for which sand waves are marginally generated.

AB - Tidal sand waves are dynamic bed patterns which are formed by the complex interaction between hydrodynamics, sediment transport, and geomorphology. Field data from the southern North Sea reveal that sand waves are absent where suspended load transport is the dominant transport mode. In order to understand the mechanisms responsible for the absence of sand waves, we study the influence of suspended load transport on the formation of tidal sand waves with a numerical process-based geomorphological model (Delft3D). Model simulations are presented in which the vertical eddy viscosity and sediment diffusivity are both spatially and temporally variable (k-ε turbulence model). First, it is shown that the preferred wavelength of sand waves for a relatively large grain size increases by the inclusion of suspended sediment, while for a relatively small grain size the flat bed is stable and no sand waves evolve. Second, it is shown that suspended load transport causes the suppression of long sand waves, resulting in a finite range of wavelengths that experience growth. Finally, by varying flow velocity amplitude and grain size, critical conditions for sand wave formation are found, i.e., conditions for which sand waves are marginally generated.

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SN - 2169-9003

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