Gravity Flows: sediment transport and sedimentary structures

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Turbidity Currents

Experimental Models

Turbidity Current Experiment Videos: Suzanne O'Connell. ( This site may be offline. ) Turbidity current movies from Wesleyan University's Learning Objects website show turbidity current experiments conducted in a 1 meter long tank. In the lab, the tank angle and liquid density can be varied to observe various flow patterns which can be digitally recorded and later observed to calculate the different flow rates.
Multiple Turbidity Currents (MP4 Video 14MB Jan20 12) and Sustained Turbidity Current (MP4 Video 3.4MB Jan20 12) videos from Gary Parker at the University of Minnesota. Both videos are performed in a basin with a "fill and spill geometry" where the current runs into a silled basin, the overflows to a lower basin floor. These videos are provided in a larger Sediment Transport Movies (more info) from Paul Heller (University of Wyoming).
Low Density Turbidity Current (MP4 Video 10MB Jan20 12) from Gary Parker at the University of Minnesota. This video is provided in a larger Sediment Transport Movies (more info) from Paul Heller (University of Wyoming).
Confined Subaqueous Debris Flows (MP4 Video 11MB Jan20 12) with varying ratios of water to bentonite to sand. Five separate flows are shown with increasing strength. This video is provided in a larger Sediment Transport Movies (more info) from Paul Heller (University of Wyoming).
Unconfined Subaqueous Debris Flows (MP4 Video 9.8MB Jan20 12) with two subsequent flows. This video is provided in a larger Sediment Transport Movies (more info) from Paul Heller (University of Wyoming).
Experimental Modeling of Turbidity Currents. (more info) Photos of the experimental set up and the turbidity current lab experiments conducted by the Nonlinear Physics Group at the University of Toronto.

Turbidity Flows in the Real World

Monterey Canyon Turbidity Flow. (more info) Turbidity flows are caught in the act in Monterey Canyon. The story is explained and depicted in static images found at The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) website.
River to Submarine Canyon Sediment Routing. (more info) Static images and text from The Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) explain how river floods can generate hyperpycnal flow events in Monterey Canyon.

Fluid Dynamics of Natural Turbidity Currents. (more info) Photos, static images, and explanatory text from the website of Jim Best (University of Leeds, U.K.) clearly outlines the quantitative field investigation of turbidity currents generated by river inflow into Lillooet Lake, British Columbia, Canada.

Lecture Notes

Video collection from Dawn Sumner (University of California at Davis) include Waves and Storms and Turbidites. These collections are subsets of larger Playlist: Sedimentology and Stratigraphy (more info)

Mass Wasting

Outcrop photographs of Slope Failure from Dawn Sumner at University of California at Davis.

Tauls Cone photograph from Marli Miller, University of Oregon. Find more images from Miller's Earth Science Photography site (more info)

USGS Landslide Photo Collections: This page from the USGS Landslide Hazards Program website includes a number of galleries of photos from many important landslides in the US and internationally.

Landslide Types, McGraw Hill (more info) This Flash animation displays in quick sequence four different mass wasting events: earthflow, translational slump, rotational slump, and rock fall. Images are attractive but there is little in the way of causative factors involved in mass wasting. To access the animation Click on the "Flow Slide Fall" link.

Deep Seated LandslideThis USGS animation shows the conditions leading to a San Francisco Bay area bedrock landslide. The scene begins with a flyby of the Bay Area showing the considerable relief of the region. The focus then shifts to the subsurface conditions, an impermeable rock layer above a permeable rock layer, responsible for creating a landslide after a period of rain. Expect long loading times. (From Fly-by Movies of Ancient Landslides in the East Bay Hills and in Marin County - USGS)

Bay Area Slump, USGS (more info) This MPEG simulation sequences a 1997 slump in San Mateo County, located within the San Francisco Bay Area. After a long period of rain, a fissure opened at the crest of the slope and the slump progressed down hill. The animation captures movement over an eight day period with an average movement of a few feet per day. Over 250,000 tons of rock and soil moved in this landslide.

Mudslide in Maierato, Calabria, Italy (more info) This YouTube video shows footage captured of a massive landslide that occurred in Maierato, Italy on February 15, 2010.

Landslide in Italy (more info) This YouTube video shows aerial footage of the aftermath of a massive landslide in Maierato, Calabria, Italy on February 15, 2010. The footage was shot on February 16, 2010.