A note on the Krone deposition equation and significance of floc aggregation
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For modeling the rate of deposition of cohesive flocs in estuaries the Krone equation is extensively used. It was derived from flume experiments on muddy sediment from the San Francisco Bay, and is applicable to low suspended sediment concentration environments in which shear-induced aggregation - the growth and break up of flocs - has a limited role. It is shown that the use of this equation can lead to erroneous estimates of the mass deposition flux at typically higher estuarine concentrations. Krone's own experimental data permit the development of a more general equation accounting for the effects of concentration and turbulent shear rate on aggregation. These effects are dramatically observed in a deposition test in which a wire mesh was inserted in the flow to change the turbulent shearing rate and increase deposition. Even with the inclusion of aggregation effect in the general equation, field-based observations from San Francisco Bay suggest that typical flumes generally may not meet the space and time scaling requirements for field application of laboratory data. Thus, although the Krone equation should be eschewed in favor of the general equation, interpretations of model-predicted deposition rate must not be accepted without robust field-based verification. © 2014.
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