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Effect of bed slope and roughness on the spreading and dilution of gravity currents

   Faculty of Engineering and Informatics

About the Project

Gravity current is frequently encountered in natural (e.g. saltwater intrusion in an estuary) and man-made environments (e.g. mining solution; desalination). The motion and dilution of gravity current is very important to the environment and ecology of the receiving water bodies.

For example, produced water from mining solution is hypersaline, which could harm fauna and flora of ambient water bodies; cooling water discharge from the power station will amend the water temperature of the receiving water body. Therefore, rapid dilution is of importance for minimizing such adverse effect. Boundary condition plays an important role on the dilution process of the gravity current.

This project is therefore to investigate the effect of the bottom bed roughness and slope on the motion, mixing and dilution of the gravity currents by using laboratory experiments or/and numerical modelling simulation.

Funding Notes

This is a self-funded PhD project; applicants will be expected to pay their own fees or have a suitable source of third-party funding. A bench fee may also apply to this project, in addition to the tuition fees. UK students may be able to apply for a Doctoral Loan from Student Finance for financial support.


(1) Guo, YK, Zhang, ZY and Shi, B. 2014. Numerical simulation of gravity current descending a slope into a linearly stratified environment. Journal of Hydraulic Engineering (ASCE), 140(12) DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)HY.1943-7900.0000936.
(2) Baines, P. G. (2001). “Mixing in flows down gentle slopes into stratified environments.” J. Fluid Mech., 443, 237–270.
(3) Baines, P. G. (2005). “Mixing regimes for the flow of dense fluid down slopes into stratified environments.” J. Fluid Mech., 538, 245–267.

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