Articles | Volume 2, issue 3/4
31 Dec 2002
31 Dec 2002

An experimental study of particle-driven gravity currents on steep slopes with entrainment of particles

M. Rastello, C. Ancey, F. Ousset, R. Magnard, and E. J. Hopfinger

Abstract. Results of laboratory experiments are presented in which a finite suspension of sawdust particles was released instantaneously into a rectangular channel immersed in a water tank. Two kinds of gravity currents were studied: currents with or without entrainment of particles from the bed. Experiments were repeated for two slopes: 30° and 45°. We observed that the velocity of the front was significantly in-creased as particle entrainment occurred. In addition, our experiments showed that the front kept a quasi-constant velocity for both runs. This might suggest that the flow regime corresponded to the "slumping regime" or "adjustment phase" described earlier by Huppert and Simpson (1980).