Abstract

A simple formula is developed to relate the size and settling velocity of cohesive sediment flocs in both the viscous and inertial settling ranges. This formula maintains the same basic structure as the existing formula but is amended to incorporate the fact that the flocculated sediment has an internal fractal architecture and is composed of different-sized primary particles. The input parameters needed for calculating the settling velocity include the median size and size distribution of the primary particles, the fractal dimension of the floc, the density of the sediment, and two calibrated coefficients that incorporate the effects of floc shape, permeability, and flow separation on drag. The proposed formula is compared with four data sets of settling velocity–floc size collected from the published literature, and a good agreement between the model and these data can be found.

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