Observations of particle capture on a cylindrical collector: Implications for particle accumulation and removal in aquatic systems

Palmer, Molly R., Heidi M. Nepf, Thomas J. R. Pettersson, Josef D. Ackerman

Limnol. Oceanogr., 49(1), 2004, 76-85 | DOI: 10.4319/lo.2004.49.1.0076

ABSTRACT: Capture of suspended particles by cylindrical collectors is an important mechanism in many aquatic processes, such as larval settlement, suspension feeding, and vegetative filtration. In these processes, the collector Reynolds number (Rec), based on the collector diameter, ranges from well below 1 to 1,000. No analytical solutions exist to describe capture over most of this range. Capture is typically described by the efficiency, eta.lc.gif - 56 Bytes, defined as the ratio of the upstream span of particles that are captured on the collector to the collector diameter. Here, laboratory experiments are used to measure capture efficiency of a single cylinder as a function of Rec and particle ratio, R, which is the ratio of particle diameter to collector diameter. Rec is varied from 50 to 500 and three values of R are used: 0.03, 0.015, and 0.008. The selected particles have a specific gravity of 1.03. For smooth cylinders, capture increases with both Rec and R but is more strongly dependent on R. This result indicates that, in aquatic systems, where flow velocity and suspended particle type and size are fixed, higher capture efficiency will occur on the smallest collectors (those with largest R). Furthermore, we examine a similar experiment in which particles are collected by branched structures. We show that capture to individual cylindrical branches within a compound structure can be predicted by single-cylinder efficiencies. Finally, capture was increased when roughness elements were added to the collectors.

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