Advances in Earth Science ›› 2018, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (2): 166-178. doi: 10.11867/j.issn.1001-8166.2018.02.0166

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Review of the Seabed Sediment Resuspension by Internal Solitary Wave

Zhuangcai Tian 1, 2( ), Xiujun Guo 1, 3, *( ), Le Yu 1, Yonggang Jia 1, 2, 3, Shaotong Zhang 1, 2, Luzheng Qiao 4   

  1. 1.Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Marine Environment and Geological Engineering, Ocean University of China, Qingdao Shandong 266100, China
    2.Laboratory for Marine Geology, Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, Qingdao Shandong 266061, China
    3.Key Laboratory of Marine Environment & Ecology, Ministry of Education, Qingdao Shandong 266100, China
    4.Shandong Province Urban and Rural Construction Investigation and Design Institute, Ji’nan 250031, China
  • Received:2017-10-08 Revised:2018-01-05 Online:2018-02-20 Published:2018-04-02
  • Contact: Xiujun Guo;
  • Supported by:
    Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China for Development Projects Regarding Major Scientific Research Instruments “In-situ Surveying Equipment of Engineering Geology in complex deep sea (SEEGeo) ”(No.41427803);The National Natural Science Foundation of China “Study on electrical resistivity tomography detection technology of offshore shallow gas”(No.41772307);First author:Tian Zhuangcai(1991-), male, Shangqiu City, He’nan Province, Ph;D student;Research areas include marine geology and environmental geotechnical engineering;E-mail:zhuangcaitian@163;com

Zhuangcai Tian, Xiujun Guo, Le Yu, Yonggang Jia, Shaotong Zhang, Luzheng Qiao. Review of the Seabed Sediment Resuspension by Internal Solitary Wave[J]. Advances in Earth Science, 2018, 33(2): 166-178.

Internal Solitary Waves (ISWs) are nonlinear, large amplitude motions of the interface between two fluids with different densities in the stratified ocean. Because of their strong vertical and horizontal current velocity, and the vortex, turbulent mixing caused by breaking, they affect marine environment, seabed sediment and man-made structures in the ocean. In the paper, we systematically analyzed and summarized the ISW-induced shoaling break mechanisms, models of suspension, and seabed dynamical response. Then, we discussed the ISW-induced sediment resuspension criteria, forming bottom and intermediate nepheloid layer and the capacity to suspend sediments in the seabed, and further put forward the unsolved problems based on the conducted work and related achievements. In shallow seas with complex terrain variations, shoaling can cause ISWs to deform, break, and split. Studies on the propagation of ISWs of depression over sloping topography have shown that an adverse pressure gradient causes the rotation of the flow separation, which produces vortices, and this results in global instability of the boundary layer and ISW burst. The separation vortices increase the bottom shear stress, vertical velocity, and near-bottom Reynolds stress, which leads to sediment resuspension and transport in the flow and vortex core. Although episodic, ISW-induced resuspension is hypothesized to be important enough to shape the topography. Shoaling ISWs may erode, resuspend and transport mud-like sediments, first towards shore by boluses, and subsequently offshore through the generation of intermediate nepheloid layers. Shoaling ISWs might be an important mechanism of muddy sediment dispersal along continental shelves. Furthermore, recent hypotheses suggest that sediment mobilization and transport caused by internal waves in general, and ISWs in particular, may be at the origin of some sedimentary structures found in the sedimentary rock record and also the hummocky-cross stratification. Observed on-shelf propagating frontal ISW most likely interacts with the sand waves, sediment waves or sand dunes. ISWs contribute to their generation, as they are trailed by considerable shear-induced turbulence and high-frequency internal waves close to the buoyancy frequency. This work is of great value for further understanding the process of ISW-induced sediment resuspension, transportation, and the capacity to suspend sediments in the seabed. It helps further study of the dynamic process of marine ecological environment dynamic process by ISW and the deep sea sedimentation process.

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