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Sedimentological Regimes for Subaqueous Turbidity Currents

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Subaqueous turbidity currents may be the dominant mechanism by which sediments are moved from continents into the deep ocean; these flows are critical in the formation of submarine canyons and corresponding submarine fans. In 1986 Parker, Fukushima, and Pantin introduced a depth-averaged mechanical model for these currents, intending to identify the circumstances under which the erosion of underlying material by a turbidity current could lead to an “auto-igniting” sustainable flow. We use a simplified version of their model to map a global regime diagram for these flows as a function of the Richardson and Rouse numbers of the flows; in different segments of this diagram the flows are predominantly depositional, erosional, or bypass in nature.

This talk is part of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Flows (IEEF) series.

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