12.090 Special Topics: An Introduction to Fluid Motions, Sediment Transport, and Current-generated Sedimentary Structures

Fall 2006

Cross stratification produced by 3-D dunes in unidirectional flows.
Block diagram of cross stratification produced by three-dimensional dunes in unidirectional flows. (Image by Prof. John Southard.)

Course Description

This course begins by introducing students to aspects of fluid dynamics relevant to transport and deposition of particulate sedimentary materials. Emphasis is on the structure of turbulent shear flows and the forces exerted by fluid motions on bed of loosed sediment. With fluid dynamics as background, the course deals with sediment movement as bed load and suspended load, and with the geometry, kinematics, and dynamics of ripple and dune bed forms. The course concludes with basic material on the styles of current-generated primary sedimentary structures, with emphasis on cross stratification.
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Prof. John Southard

Course Meeting Times

One session / week
2 hours / session