Author(s): Sung-Uk Choi
Abstract: Choi (1998) proposed a finite element model for the simulation of turbidity currents spreading two-dimensionally in deep ambient water. The dissipative-Galerkin formulation was used for the hyperbolic feature of the governing equations. Accurate front tracking was accomplished by employing the deforming grid generation technique. In the present paper, mass conservative property of the two-dimensional numerical method is tested in the case of a buoyancy-conserving saline current. Sensitivity analyses are also performed to see the model response to such parameters as total buoyancy flux, inlet velocity, flow resistance co-efficient, slope, and sediment particle. Finally, laboratory experiments are conducted by generating saline density currents for the verification of the numerical model. The experimental data are obtained with an emphasis on bulk characteristics of the density current such as propagating pattern, longitudinal and lateral spreading distances, and opening angle. The observed result appears to be in a good agreement with the computed solution, which suggests that the developed numerical model is capable of simulating the turbidity current propagating on a slope with no lateral restriction.