The evolution of a mono-disperse gravity current in the lock-exchange configuration is investigated by means of direct numerical simulations for various Reynolds numbers and settling velocities for the deposition. We limit our investigations to gravity currents over a flat bed in which density differences are small enough for the Boussinesq approximation to be valid. The concentration of particles is described in an Eulerian fashion by using a transport equation combined with the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations. The most interesting results can be summarized as follows: (i) the settling velocity is affecting the streamwise vortices at the head of the current with a substantial reduction of their size when the settling velocity is increased; (ii) when the Reynolds number is increased the lobe-and-cleft structures are merging more frequently and earlier in time, suggesting a strong Reynolds number dependence for the spatio-temporal evolution of the head of the current; (iii) the temporal imprint of the lobe-and-cleft structures can be recovered from the deposition map, suggesting that the deposition pattern is defined purely and exclusively by the structures at the front of the current.
High-fidelity simulations of the lobe-and-cleft structures and the deposition map in particle-driven gravity currents
L. F. R. Espath, L. C. Pinto, S. Laizet, J. H. Silvestrini; High-fidelity simulations of the lobe-and-cleft structures and the deposition map in particle-driven gravity currents. Physics of Fluids 1 May 2015; 27 (5): 056604. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4921191
Download citation file: