Topical Issue on Dygram 2006
Initiation and evolution of current ripples on a flat sand bed under turbulent water flow
School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
2 G.M.C.M., Université Rennes 1, Bât. 11A, 35042, Rennes, France
Published online: 21 March 2007
We investigate the formation and dynamics of sand ripples under a turbulent water flow. Our experiments were conducted in an open flume with spherical glass beads between 100 and 500μm in diameter. The flow Reynolds number is of the order of 10 000 and the particle Reynolds number of the order of 1 to 10. We study the development of ripples by measuring their wavelength and amplitude in course of time and investigate the influence of the grain size and the flow properties. In particular, we demonstrate two different regimes according to the grain size. For fine grains, a slow coarsening process (i.e., a logarithmic increase of the wavelength and amplitude) takes place, while for coarser grains, this process occurs at a much faster rate (i.e., with a linear growth) and stops after a finite time. In the later case, a stable pattern is eventually observed. Besides, we carefully analyze the wavelength of ripples in the first stages of the instability as a function of the grain size and the shear velocity of the flow, and compare our results with other available experimental data and with theoretical predictions based on linear stability analyses.
PACS: 45.70.-n Granular systems – / 45.70.Qj Pattern formation – / 92.10.Wa Sediment transport –
© EDP Sciences/Società Italiana di Fisica/Springer-Verlag, 2007