On the calculation of suspended load for noncohesive sediments


  • S. R. McLean


Calculation of suspended sediment transport rates requires integration of the product of sediment concentration times velocity over the depth of the flow; hence accurate profiles of these quantities are required especially near the sediment bed. Although this would appear to be a straightforward task, many effects can cause significant deviation of these quantities from those values expected from simple known relationships. For example, density stratification by suspended particulates can dampen turbulence fluctuations and significantly reduce the effective viscosity and diffusivity of the flow. The momentum and suspended sediment equations are solved herein, including the effects of stratification by suspended sediment and the effects due to size distribution and bedforms. The results show that stratification and bedforms generally reduce the transport capacity of the flow, whereas treating the sediment as an assemblage of different sizes rather than a single size (D50) increases the expected transport.