The stability of randomly deposited sediment beds is examined using a discrete particle model in which individual grains are represented by spheres. The results indicate that the threshold shear stress for flat beds consisting of cohesionless uniformly sized grains cannot be adequately described by a single-valued parameter; rather, it is best represented by a distribution of values. Physically, this result stems from the localized heterogeneity in the arrangement of surface grains. For uniformly sized beds, geometric similarity exists such that the critical entrainment shear stress distributions scale directly with grain size. A Shields parameter of 0.06 is commonly used to define "threshold conditions," and it was found that this corresponds to a point on the distributions where approximately 1.4% by weight of the surface is mobile. Furthermore the analysis includes a comparison of the contributions of sheltering to variation in critical entrainment shear stress. It was found that remote sheltering, induced by prominent upstream grains, has a significant effect in increasing the apparent critical entrainment shear stress of exposed surface grains.
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of Hydraulic Engineering|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 2001|
- CRITICAL SHEAR-STRESS
- LOAD TRANSPORT
- INCIPIENT MOTION