Modeling of Breaching-Generated Turbidity Currents Using Large Eddy Simulation

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Breaching flow slides result in a turbidity current running over and directly interacting with the eroding, submarine slope surface, thereby promoting further sediment erosion. The investigation and understanding of this current are crucial, as it is the main parameter influencing the failure evolution and fate of sediment during the breaching phenomenon. In contrast to previous numerical studies dealing with this specific type of turbidity currents, we present a 3D numerical model that simulates the flow structure and hydrodynamics of breaching-generated turbidity currents. The turbulent behavior in the model is captured by large eddy simulation (LES). We present a set of numerical simulations that reproduce particular, previously published experimental results. Through these simulations, we show the validity, applicability, and advantage of the proposed numerical model for the investigation of the flow characteristics. The principal characteristics of the turbidity current are reproduced well, apart from the layer thickness. We also propose a breaching erosion model and validate it using the same series of experimental data. Quite good agreement is observed between the experimental data and the computed erosion rates. The numerical results confirm that breaching-generated turbidity currents are self-accelerating and indicate that they evolve in a self-similar manner.
Original languageEnglish
Article number728
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Marine Science and Engineering
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Breaching
  • Erosion model
  • Flow slide
  • Large eddy simulation
  • Self-accelerating current
  • Turbidity current
  • Turbulence-resolving simulation

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