Erodibility of Fine Abyssal Sediment

  • John B. Southard
Part of the Marine Science book series (MR, volume 2)


A fundamental approach to erodibility of fine abyssal sediment must take into account the great complexity of forces acting on surface sediment particles exposed to bottom currents. Important controls on these forces involve the dynamics of turbulent boundary-layer flow, the physical and chemical nature of the sediment particles, and the past history of the sediment, including effects of flocculation and the activity of benthic organisms. Time scale also determines, at least in part, the way we view the problem of erodibility. Experiments on erodibility have largely been aimed at threshold velocity or boundary shear stress for incipient erosion. Many such experiments have been made, but comparison is difficult because of differing sediment composition and state of the sediment bed. The only general conclusion that can be drawn is that, for a given sediment, threshold velocity or shear stress varies strongly with water content but depends also on method of sediment preparation and time since deposition. Mode of erosion also varies with water content.


Fine Sediment Threshold Velocity Viscous Sublayer Boundary Shear Stress Calcareous Ooze 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • John B. Southard
    • 1
  1. 1.Massachussetts Institute of TechnologyUSA

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