Experimental study on fall velocity of fine sediment in the Yangtze Estuary, China

Yuanyang Wan, Hualin Wu, Dano Roelvink, Fengfeng Gu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Fall velocity (FV) is such a fundamental parameter for sediment researchers that its accurate determination has been regarded as a top priority in improving numerical modelling and conceptual understanding of fine sediment dynamics. With their cohesive nature, fine sediments are prone to aggregation and form flocculation network structures (flocs). The rheological behaviour of fluid may complicate this problem. By means of a new apparatus, FV of fine Yangtze Estuary sediment can be studied in the laboratory. The experimental data show that (1) suspended sediment concentration (SSC), salinity and temperature all affect FV, but to different extents; (2) the relationships between the FV of estuarine fine sediments and its determinants are highly dependent upon specific environmental conditions; (3) the dependencies of various determinants (SSC, salinity and temperature) on FV in different flocculation stages are varied; and (4) for Yangtze estuarine mud, the FV peaks when the SSC is in the range 3-8 g/l, and the salinities for maximum flocculation settling are approximately 7 and 10 PSU in dry and wet seasons, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-187
Number of pages8
JournalOcean Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Experiment
  • Fall velocity
  • Fine sediment
  • Flocculation
  • Yangtze Estuary

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