EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Assessing sediment transport energetics with instrumented particles for above threshold of motion turbulent flows

Zaid Al-Husban and Manousos Valyrakis
Zaid Al-Husban and Manousos Valyrakis
  • University of Glasgow, School of Engineering, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (

Despite the fact sediment transport has been studied for decades, there is still a need to gain a further insight on the nature and driving mechanisms of bed particle motions induced by turbulent flows, for the low transport stages where the particle transport is relatively intermittent. A custom designed and prototyped instrumented particle, embedded with inertial sensors is used herein to study its transport over hydraulically rough bed surfaces. The calibration and error estimation for its sensors is also undertaken before starting the experiments, to ensure optimal operation and estimate any uncertainties.

The observations and results of this research are obtained from experiments carried out at the University of Glasgow 12 meters long and 0.9 meters wide, tilting and water recirculating flume. The flume walls comprise of smooth transparent glass that enables observing particle transport from the side (also with underwater video cameras) and the bed surface generally is layered with coarse gravel.

The particle is initially located at the upstream end of the test configuration, fully exposed to the uniform and fully developed turbulent channel flow. The top and side cameras are set in their suitable positions to monitor and study the behaviour of particle motion by capturing the dynamical features of sediment motion and to not interfere with flow field that pushes particle downstream. 

Using the sensor data to calculate the kinetic energy for a range of sets of sediment transport experiments with varying flow rates and particle densities, the probability distribution functions (PDFs) of particle transport features, such as particle’s total energy, are generated which give information about particle interaction with the surface bed during its motion. In addition, the effects of different flow rates, particle densities on particle energy are assessed.

How to cite: Al-Husban, Z. and Valyrakis, M.: Assessing sediment transport energetics with instrumented particles for above threshold of motion turbulent flows, EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-21727,, 2020