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Water 2017, 9(11), 828; https://doi.org/10.3390/w9110828

A Theoretical Model to Predict the Critical Hydraulic Gradient for Soil Particle Movement under Two-Dimensional Seepage Flow

1,2
,
1,2
,
1,2,* , 1,3
and
2
1
State Key Laboratory of Hydraulic Engineering Simulation and Safety, Tianjin University, 300350 Tianjin, China
2
Institute for Sedimentation on River and Coastal Engineering, Tianjin University, 300350 Tianjin, China
3
Tianjin Research Institute for Water Transport Engineering, Ministry of Transport, 300456 Tianjin, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 October 2017 / Revised: 24 October 2017 / Accepted: 26 October 2017 / Published: 29 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Streambank Erosion: Monitoring, Modeling and Management)
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Abstract

The soil particle movement under seepage flow is one of the predominant mechanisms responsible for incidents and failures of dams and streambanks. However, little attention has been paid to the critical hydraulic gradient under two-dimensional (2-D) seepage flow. In this study, a theoretical model was established under 2-D seepage flow to predict the critical hydraulic gradients for soil particle movement. In this model, the sediment particle rolling theory was used, while taking into account the relative exposure degree of the soil grains and the seepage direction. The model was validated through qualitative analysis and comparison with previous data, and showed considerable superiority over Terzaghi's model. In addition, the effect of the soil internal instability, implying that the critical hydraulic gradient of unstable soil is lower than that of stable soil, was discussed. Various parameters of the model were also analyzed. The results showed that the seepage direction angle was positively related to the critical gradient, whereas the void and the mean diameter of the soil were negatively related to it. Finally, the model proposes a calculation method for the particle movement initiation probability, which is regarded as a key parameter in the sediment transport model. View Full-Text
Keywords: critical hydraulic gradient; 2-D seepage; soil particle movement; relative exposure degree; theoretical model critical hydraulic gradient; 2-D seepage; soil particle movement; relative exposure degree; theoretical model
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Huang, Z.; Bai, Y.; Xu, H.; Cao, Y.; Hu, X. A Theoretical Model to Predict the Critical Hydraulic Gradient for Soil Particle Movement under Two-Dimensional Seepage Flow. Water 2017, 9, 828.

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