Sediment-laden turbulent flows are commonly encountered in natural and engineered environments. It is well known that turbulence generates fluctuations to the particle motion, resulting in modulation of the particle settling velocity. A novel stochastic particle tracking model is developed to predict the particle settling out and deposition from a sediment-laden jet. Particle velocity fluctuations in the jet flow are modelled from a Lagrangian velocity autocorrelation function that incorporates the physical mechanism leading to a reduction of settling velocity. The model is first applied to study the settling velocity modulation in a homogeneous turbulence field. Consistent with basic experiments using grid-generated turbulence and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) calculations, the model predicts that the apparent settling velocity can be reduced by as much as 30 % of the stillwater settling velocity. Using analytical solution for the jet mean flow and semi-empirical RMS turbulent velocity fluctuation and dissipation rate profiles derived from CFD predictions, model predictions of the sediment deposition and cross-sectional concentration profiles of horizontal sediment-laden jets are in excellent agreement with data. Unlike CFD calculations of sediment fall out and deposition from a jet flow, the present method does not require any a priori adjustment of particle settling velocity.
Environmental Fluid Mechanics – Springer Journals
Published: May 18, 2013
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