Sediment transport by vortices

The effect of barotropic vortices on sediment transport

Aim: Determine by means of laboratory experiments and numerical simulations the effect and importance of barotropic vortices on sediment transport and how both of them interact.

 Sediment processes are phenomena that are ubiquitous in nature and in the industry. Improving the understanding and modelling of sediment transport is fundamental in many practical problems, like in the maintenance of beaches and navigation channels. However, sedimentation processes are very complex, having fluid-particle, particle-particle interactions and a large range of scales that require the knowledge of a variety of fields.

In this project, we focus on a fundamental study of the transport of sediment by vortices, by means of numerical simulations and small-scale laboratory experiments. This topic is of particular importance, since vortices are basic and characteristic structures present in a great number of flows.

As an initial study, focus is placed on studying spin-down flows on top of a bed of particles. Spin-down flows are chosen as they are well understood and can be used as a simple model of a vortex core.

Image from an experiment.

Group members

Samuel Gonzalez, Matias Duran Matute, GertJan van Heijst