We describe a new mechanism that produces bedforms and characterize the conditions under which it operates. The mechanism is associated with pressure gradients generated in a fluid saturated particle bed by a plate oscillating in the water above it. These vertical pressure gradients cause oscillatory bed failure. This facilitates particle displacement in its interior and transport at and near its surface that contribute to the formation of a heap under the plate. Flows over erodible beds generally cause shear stresses on the bed and these induce bed failure. Failure driven by pressure gradients is different from this. We report on bedforms in a bed of glass beads associated with such fluctuating pressure gradients. We measure the development of the profiles of heaps as a function of time and determine the tangential and normal motion of areas on the beds surface and estimate the depth of penetration of the tangential transport. The measurements compare favorably with a simple model that describes the onset of failure due to oscillations in pressure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Physics and Astronomy