The capacity to store water in a reservoir declines as it traps sediment. A river entering a reservoir forms a prograding delta. Coarse sediment (e.g., sand) deposits in the fluvial topset and avalanching foreset of the delta, and is typically trapped with an efficiency near 100%. The trap efficiency of fine sediment (e.g., mud), on the other hand, may be below 100%, because some of this sediment may pass out of the reservoir without settling out. Here, a model of trap efficiency of mud is developed in terms of the mechanics of a turbidity current that plunges on the foreset. The dam causes a sustained turbidity current to reflect and form a muddy pond bounded upstream by a hydraulic jump. If the interface of this muddy pond rises above any vent or overflow point at the dam, the trap efficiency of mud drops below 100%. A model of the coevolution of topset, foreset, and bottomset in a reservoir that captures the dynamics of the internal muddy pond is presented. Numerical implementation, comparison against an experiment, and application to a field-scale case provide the basis for a physical understanding of the processes that determine reservoir trap efficiency.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||17|
|Journal||Journal of Hydraulic Engineering|
|State||Published - Jun 2007|
- Numerical models
- Sediment transport