Movie:Density Current


Information Page: Density Current

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Density Current

Key Attributes

Domain: coastal, marine
Keywords: turbidity current, subcritical flow
Model name: Animation model name
Name: Mike, Lamb
Where: Earth Surface Dynamics Laboratory at CalTech
When: Approximately 4 minutes. The movie is speeded up 2X for the head , and 8X for the body.

Short Description

Grade level: Under graduate (13-16), Graduate / Professional

Statement: A density current in a flume. This process is studied to learn more about turbidity currents filling mini-basins along the continental shelf slope into the deep marine environment.

Abstract: You can see a tilted flume with two velocity measurement propellors at the start of the movie. Note the think layer of sediment on the bttom, which represents the sea floor sediment. Then the experimenters release a mix of water and sediment (it is colored pink for contrast) into the top of the flume. Because this mix is denser than the original water column, a density current forms and rapidly travels along the bottom slope of the flume. This current even is capable of eroding the original flume bed.This experiment mimicks the sediment transport of a turbidite along a deep-marine slope.

This experiment was implemented in the tilting flume in the Earth Surface Dynamics Modeling Lab at Caltech.




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