Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 28 Issue 03

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Volume 28, No. 3
Pages 220 - 227

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HANDS-ON OCEANOGRAPHY • Turbidity Currents: Comparing Theory and Observation in the Lab

Joseph D. Ortiz Adiël A. Klompmaker
First Paragraph

Purpose of Activity

The goal of this exercise is to enable students to explore some of the controls on fluid flow by having them simulate turbidity currents using lock-gate exchange tanks while varying the bed slope and the turbidity. Observational data are compared with theoretical relationships known from the scientific literature. The exercise promotes collaborative/peer learning and critical thinking while using a physical model and analyzing results.

Citation

Ortiz, J.D., and A.A. Klompmaker. 2015. Turbidity currents: Comparing theory and observation in the lab. Oceanography 28(3):220–227, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2015.73.

Supplementary Materials

» Lab Instructions and Worksheet (1.1 MB)

» Accompanying Spreadsheet (48 KB Excel spreadsheet): The Excel spreadsheet includes a table that can be used to solve Equations 8 and 9 in this lab exercise.

References

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Bouma, A.H., and A. Brouwer, eds. 1964. Developments in Sedimentology 3: Turbidites. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 264 pp.

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Spalding, H.L., K.M. Duncan, and Z. Norcross-Nu’u. 2009. Hands-on oceanography: Sorting out sediment grain size and plastic pollution. Oceanography 22(4):244–250, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2009.117.

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