The experimental programme of Southard and Mackintosh (1981) provides a definitive refutation of the autosuspension criterion as it was originally defined. A simple energy budget for dilute two‐phase flow is derived from continuum theory of mixtures; it shows that Bagnold's criterion is based on an arbitrary comparison of two elements of the complete two‐phase system. It is recommended that facile, ab hoc criteria for the behaviour of such complex flows be avoided in favour of analyses based on fundamental equations of motion.
- Fluid mechanics
- Sediment transport