Self-burial of short cylinders under oscillatory flows and combined waves plus currents

Yovanni A. Cataño-Lopera, Salih T. Demir, Marcelo H. García

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Self-burial processes of finite-length cylinders under oscillatory flows and waves plus currents were examined with the following two different experimental facilities: a large oscillating water-sediment tunnel (LOWST) and a large wave-current tank. More than 130 experiments, with different model cylinders, were conducted within both facilities. The burial mechanisms studied include burial due to local scour and bedform migration. Burial due to fluidization in the tunnel was also explored, but only in a qualitative way. In the case of experiments with LOWST, the equilibrium burial depth was found to be a power function of the Shields parameter θ. In the wave-current tank, the equilibrium burial depth was also found to be a function of the Shields parameter, albeit with larger scatter. The experimental observations made in both facilities have similar trends but different magnitudes. For equivalent values of the Shields parameter, smaller equilibrium burial depths were observed in the wave flume when compared to the ones in LOWST. After burial induced by local scour takes place, bedform (ripples and sandwaves) formation and evolution play a strong and, in some cases, dominant role on the equilibrium burial depth of the cylinders. Depending on how the vertical dimensions of bedforms compare to the specimen's diameter, cyclical covering and uncovering of the object may take place due to the passage of the migrating sandwaves. In such case, burial depth Bd no longer coincides with the vertical displacement (Vd) of the object as in the case when the burial process is dominated by local scour.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-203
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2007


  • Bedforms
  • Cylinder burial
  • Fluidization
  • Scour

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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