We provide a new perspective on the transition of hyperpycnal flows into saline turbidity currents, which permits longer runout lengths than might be otherwise expected. This mechanism relies on the differential turbulent diffusion of salt and sediment, and in contrast to ambient saltwater entrainment it enables the salinification of the freshwater current without diluting the sediment concentration field by a corresponding amount. The freshness-to-sediment ratio is introduced in order to quantify the transition process. The results of high-resolution simulations provide estimates for the transition distance of hyperpycnal model flows into saline turbidity currents.
- turbidity current
- hypercynal flow