Breaching Flow Slides and the Associated Turbidity Current

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This paper starts with surveying the state-of-the-art knowledge of breaching flow slides, with an emphasis on the relevant fluid mechanics. The governing physical processes of breaching flow slides are explained. The paper highlights the important roles of the associated turbidity current and the frequent surficial slides in increasing the erosion rate of sediment. It also identifies the weaknesses of the current breaching erosion models. Then, the three-equation model of Parker et al. is utilised to describe the coupled processes of breaching and turbidity currents. For comparison’s sake, the existing breaching erosion models are considered: Breusers, Mastbergen and Van Den Berg, and Van Rhee. The sand erosion rate and hydrodynamics of the current vary substantially between the erosion models. Crucially, these erosion models do not account for the surficial slides, nor have they been validated due to the scarcity of data on the associated turbidity current. This paper motivates further experimental studies, including detailed flow measurements, to develop an advanced erosion model. This will improve the fidelity of numerical simulations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number67
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Breaching
  • Erosion velocity
  • Flow slide
  • Sediment entrainment
  • Sediment pick-up function
  • Turbidity current


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