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Turbidity currents were produced by releasing suspensions of glass beads from a lock into a horizontal, water-filled channel. The channel was 15 cm wide and 6 m long. Two sizes of mixing chamber were used with lengths of 29 and 59 cm. Other variables were grain size, d; concentration by volume in the original suspension, C; depth of suspension and water in the channel, H; and sorting of the sediment. These variables were related to the thickness of the bed close to the release gate, t.
For nearly uniform grain sizes, the results may be summarized by a series of power equations: t = k1 d; t = k2 C0.7; t = k3 H0.4; t = k4 L0.5 (L is the length of the mixing chamber). The relation between t and d differs from that in natural turbidites, where the exponent of d is generally less than unity. Preliminary results with sediment mixtures indicate that poor sorting changes the shape of the bed to a more tapering profile, and results in transport of coarse particles farther down the channel.
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