In this paper, a review of a semi-empirical modelling approach for cohesive sediment transport in river systems is presented. The mathematical modelling of cohesive sediment transport is a challenge because of the number of governing parameters controlling the various transport processes involved in cohesive sediment, and hence a semi-empirical approach is a viable option. A semi-empirical model of cohesive sediment called the RIVFLOC model developed by Krishnappan is reviewed and the model parameters that need to be determined using a rotating circular flume are highlighted. The parameters that were determined using a rotating circular flume during the application of the RIVFLOC model to different river systems include the critical shear stress for erosion of the cohesive sediment, critical shear stress for deposition according to the definition of Partheniades, critical shear stress for deposition according to the definition of Krone, the cohesion parameter governing the flocculation of cohesive sediment and a set of empirical parameters that define the density of the floc in terms of the size of the flocs. An examination of the variability of these parameters shows the need for testing site-specific sediments using a rotating circular flume to achieve a reliable prediction of the RIVFLOC model. Application of the model to various river systems has highlighted the need for including the entrapment process in a cohesive sediment transport model.
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