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The bubble bursts for cavitation in natural rivers: laboratory experiments reveal minor role in bedrock erosion

The bubble bursts for cavitation in natural rivers: laboratory experiments reveal minor role in bedrock erosion
The bubble bursts for cavitation in natural rivers: laboratory experiments reveal minor role in bedrock erosion
The erosion of rock-bedded channels generally is considered a slow process caused mainly by abrasion due to bedload or suspended sediments, but the mechanisms of rapid erosion remain unclear. Cavitation is a clear-fluid erosive process, well known for its effect on engineering structures, when water vapour bubbles collapse and the resultant pressure shocks erode the boundary. However, although the occurrence of cavitation erosion in natural watercourses has long been a matter of debate, as yet there are no incontrovertible examples of cavitation damage to natural river beds. Using flume experiments, we show for the first time that only weakly-cavitating clear-water flows can occur for the range of flow velocities observed in rivers, and these do not erode medium hardness rocks after 68 hours. During this time period, only a very soft rock featured erosional marks due to dissolution. Thus, our results cast significant doubt on the likelihood of identifying cavitation damage in most rivers, and provide pointers to those river systems that might be investigated further to identify cavitation erosion.
0197-9337
1308–1316
Carling, Paul
8d252dd9-3c88-4803-81cc-c2ec4c6fa687
Perillo, Mauricio
45b8197a-63fa-47bc-8206-350e085d6725
Best, James
307c0d1d-bff5-459a-abcd-38a649ced8ef
Garcia, Marcelo
47d711a9-1f49-4208-a3a5-ea7d3d7fed22
Carling, Paul
8d252dd9-3c88-4803-81cc-c2ec4c6fa687
Perillo, Mauricio
45b8197a-63fa-47bc-8206-350e085d6725
Best, James
307c0d1d-bff5-459a-abcd-38a649ced8ef
Garcia, Marcelo
47d711a9-1f49-4208-a3a5-ea7d3d7fed22

Carling, Paul, Perillo, Mauricio, Best, James and Garcia, Marcelo (2017) The bubble bursts for cavitation in natural rivers: laboratory experiments reveal minor role in bedrock erosion Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, 42, 1308–1316.

Record type: Article

Abstract

The erosion of rock-bedded channels generally is considered a slow process caused mainly by abrasion due to bedload or suspended sediments, but the mechanisms of rapid erosion remain unclear. Cavitation is a clear-fluid erosive process, well known for its effect on engineering structures, when water vapour bubbles collapse and the resultant pressure shocks erode the boundary. However, although the occurrence of cavitation erosion in natural watercourses has long been a matter of debate, as yet there are no incontrovertible examples of cavitation damage to natural river beds. Using flume experiments, we show for the first time that only weakly-cavitating clear-water flows can occur for the range of flow velocities observed in rivers, and these do not erode medium hardness rocks after 68 hours. During this time period, only a very soft rock featured erosional marks due to dissolution. Thus, our results cast significant doubt on the likelihood of identifying cavitation damage in most rivers, and provide pointers to those river systems that might be investigated further to identify cavitation erosion.

Text Carling_et_al-2016-uncorrected proof - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 9 December 2018.
Available under License Other.
Text Carling_et_al-2017-Earth_Surface_Processes_and_Landforms - Version of Record
Restricted to Repository staff only

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 9 December 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 31 January 2017

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 415240
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/415240
ISSN: 0197-9337
PURE UUID: afde5de5-536b-422b-9d3c-4205d51c42f5

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 03 Nov 2017 17:30
Last modified: 23 Nov 2017 17:30

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Contributors

Author: Paul Carling
Author: Mauricio Perillo
Author: James Best
Author: Marcelo Garcia

University divisions

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