This book is an introduction to the physical processes of cohesive sediment in the marine environment. It focuses on highly dynamic systems, such as estuaries and coastal seas. Processes on the continental shelf are also discussed and attention is given to the effects of chemistry, biology and gas. The process descriptions are based on hydrodynamic and soil mechanic principles, which integrate at the soil-water interface. This approach is substantiated through a classification scheme of sediment occurrences in which distinction is made between cohesive and granular material. Emphasis is also placed on the important interactions between turbulent flow and cohesive sediment suspensions, and on the impact of flow-induced forces on the stability of the seabed.

An overview of literature on cohesive sediment dynamics is presented and a number of new developments are highlighted, in particular in relation to floc formation, settling and sedimentation, consolidation, bed failure and liquefaction and erosion of the bed. Moreover, it presents a summary on methods and techniques to measure the various sediment properties necessary to quantify the various parameters in the physical-mathematical model descriptions. A number of examples and case studies have been included.


Researchers, professors, and academic libraries within the fields of geology, marine science and engineering.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction. 2. Boundary layer flow. 2.1 Hydrodynamics and mass balance. 2.2 The boundary layer. 2.3 The effect of surface waves. 3. The nature of cohesive sediment. 3.1 The composition of cohesive sediment. 3.2 Skeleton fabric composition of cohesive sediment. 3.3 Geotechnical classification of cohesive sediment. 3.4 Cohesive sediment in the marine environment. 4. Flocculation processes. 4.1 Introduction. 4.2 Fractal structure of mud flocs. 4.3 Flocculation model. 4.4 Flocculation time. 5. Settling and sedimentation. 5.1 Introduction. 5.2 Settling velocity and floc size. 5.3 Deposition and sedimentation. 6. Sediment-fluid interaction. 6.1 Introduction. 6.2 Sediment-fluid interaction - literature overview. 6.3 Sediment-induced buoyancy effects. 6.4 Sediment-fluid interaction in the benthic boundary layer. 7. Self-weight consolidation. 7.1 Introduction - classical theory. 7.2 The Gibson consolidation equation. 7.3 Special cases of the Gibson equation. 7.4 Material functions for the Gibson equation. 7.5 Application of Gibson's equation. 7.6 Fractal description of bed structure. 7.7 Consolidation as an advection-diffusion process using fractal theory. 7.8 Material functions for fractal approach. 7.9 Application of fractal approach. 7.10 Approximated solution of consolidation equation. 8. Mechanical behaviour. 8.1 The seafloor as a multi-phase system. 8.2 Stres


No. of pages:
© 2004
Elsevier Science
Print ISBN:
Electronic ISBN:

About the editors

J.C. Winterwerp

Affiliations and Expertise

Delft Hydraulics & Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands

W.G.M. van Kesteren

Affiliations and Expertise

Delft Hydraulics, The Netherlands


@from: J.H. Baas @qu: DIS-56 has given me a lot of new ideas, and it will undoubtedly stimulate others as well. There can be only one recommendation for the interested reader: buy the book before it runs out of print again. @source: Journal of Sedimentary Research, 2005