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Title: Resuspension and transport of sediment in the Eastern Irish Sea.
Author: Philpott, Sally.
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 1997
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The large surface area of cohesive sediments enables them to act as sinks for marine contaminants. Thus the dispersal of such contaminants is partly controlled by the resuspension and transport of fine sediments. The Cohesive Sediment Dynamics Study (COSEDS) group was established to gain a better understanding of the erosion, resuspension,t ransport and deposition of fine particulate matter, particularly during storm conditions. As part of this study, measurementso f wave heights and orbital velocities, near bed currents and suspended sediment concentrations were monitored using instruments housed on free-standing frames deployed in Morecambe Bay and on the Sellafield mud patch in the Eastern Irish Sea. Acoustic and Miniature Optical Backscatter Sensors (ABS and MOBS) were calibrated in a resuspension tank which allowed conversion of the raw backscattered field data into information on the size and concentration of the material in suspension. The contrast in particle size sensitivity of the ABS and the MOBS results in a big difference in the response of the ABS and the MOBS to the particle size distribution of the field site sediments. Thus, in an environment of mixed particle sizes, the ABS and the 'MOBS can be used in conjunction with one another to provide information about the suspended sediments. Hydrodynamic data from four sites on the Sellafield mud patch enabled shear velocity estimates to be made using the Inertial Dissipation Method. Time-series of drag. coefficient and roughness length measurementss howed both temporal and spatial variation in the observations. The spatial difference in the observations has been attributed to a change in the size distribution of the bed sediments between sites. The cause of the temporal variation in the observed roughness is thought to have been due to a changing flow regime, a combination of wave-current interaction and the presence of bed forms. Simple boundary layer models enabled the reproduction of the shear velocity values and the drag coefficient in both rough-turbulent, smooth-turbulent and transitional flow regimes. The direct relationship between the suspended sediment and the tidal currents indicated local erosion and, pickup from the seabed. The optical backscatter data revealed the resuspensiono f sedimentb y waves at times of high orbital velocities and by tidal currents at other times. Estimateso f suspendeds edimentf lux were computed from the product of the vertical integration of velocity profiles and concentration profiles, which were predicted assuming a Rouse-type profile. Flux estimates at each of the sites indicated a net movement of sediment northwards throughout the duration of the two week deployment. For a more detailed picture of transport patterns, and hence contaminant paths, it has been shown that nearb ed hydrodynamicm easurementsa re required for a longer time period
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Sediment distribution; Contaminants Oceanography Water Pollution Water Pollution Sewage