Characteristics of resuspension, settling and diffusion of particulate matter in a water column

Michael Belinsky, Hillel Rubin, Yehuda Agnon*, Eliezer Kit, Joseph F. Atkinson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Experiments were conducted in order to characterize the distributions of concentrations of suspended particulate matter (SPM) in water columns of lakes and reservoirs. The experiments, in a reduced model of the water column, used a set of oscillating grids. Runs were done with particles denser than water as well as with light particles. The results were in good agreement with analytical solutions for steady-state, and non-steady-state conditions. An approximate analytical solution was derived and found to be in agreement with the full solution. The threshold for resuspension was measured, and characterized in terms of a modified Shields parameter, which is appropriate to a zero-shear environment. All experiments showed that the distribution of SPM exhibited a layer near the bottom that is thought to be analogous to the benthic nepheloid layer (BNL) observed in larger lakes. The thickness of the nepheloid layer increases with the turbulence intensity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-441
Number of pages27
JournalEnvironmental Fluid Mechanics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2005


  • Benthic nepheloid layer
  • Lakes and reservoirs
  • Modified Shields parameter
  • Multi-grid induced turbulence
  • Sediment transport


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