loading page

Effect of Bed Clay on Surface-Water Wave Reconstruction from Ripples
  • +3
  • Jonathan Malarkey,
  • Ellen Pollard,
  • Roberto Fernández,
  • Xuxu WU,
  • Jaco H. Baas,
  • Daniel R. Parsons
Jonathan Malarkey
Bangor University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Ellen Pollard
Energy and Environment Institute, University of Hull
Author Profile
Roberto Fernández
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University
Author Profile
Xuxu WU
University of Hull
Author Profile
Jaco H. Baas
Bangor University
Author Profile
Daniel R. Parsons
Loughborough University
Author Profile


Wave ripples can provide valuable information on their formative hydrodynamic conditions in past subaqueous environments by inverting dimension predictors. However, these inversions do not usually take the mixed non-cohesive and cohesive nature of sediment beds into account. Recent experiments involving sand–kaolinite mixtures have demonstrated that wave-ripple dimensions and the threshold of motion are affected by bed clay content. Here, a clean-sand method to determine wave climate based on orbital ripple wavelength has been adapted to include the effect of clay and a consistent shear-stress threshold parameterisation. Based on present-day examples with known wave conditions, the results show that the largest clay effect occurs for coarse sand with median grain diameters over 0.45 mm. For a 7.4% volumetric clay concentration, the range of possible water-surface wavelengths and water depths can be reduced significantly, by a factor of three and four, respectively, compared to clean sand.
05 Apr 2024Submitted to ESS Open Archive
08 Apr 2024Published in ESS Open Archive