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Tulane Sediment Dynamics Laboratory Youtube Channel


3 Deltas with different degrees of sediment cohesion undergoing pure aggradation.
Video of laboratory experiments documenting the evolution of 3 channelized deltas each experiencing the same relative subsidence and water and sediment infeed rates. The only difference between the experiments is the amount of a polymer added to the sediment mixture that enhances the cohesion of sediment once deposited. Dye is added to the water to aid identification of the flow field. More details of experiment can be found in manuscript:
Straub, K.M., Li, Q., Benson, W.M., 2015, Influence of sediment cohesion on deltaic shoreline dynamics and bulk sediment retention: A laboratory study, Geophysical Research Letters, v. 42, DOI: 10.1002/2015GL066131.

Moderately cohesive delta (TDB-13-S2) undergoing pure aggradation.
Video of laboratory experiment documenting evolution of channelized delta experiencing relative subsidence at a constant rate with a constant input of water and moderately cohesive sediment. Experiment shares identical boundary conditions as TDB-12, except the amount of polymer added to the input sediment for cohesion. Digital video was collected from camera above the basin. Images were taken with flow off at the end of each run hour. Colored blue sediment represents coarsest 10% of input sediment distribution. More details of experiment can be found in manuscript:
Straub, K.M., Li, Q., Benson, W.M., 2015, Influence of sediment cohesion on deltaic shoreline dynamics and bulk sediment retention: A laboratory study, Geophysical Research Letters, v. 42, DOI: 10.1002/2015GL066131.

Weakly cohesive delta (TDB-13-S1) undergoing pure aggradation.
Video of laboratory experiment documenting evolution of channelized delta experiencing relative subsidence at a constant rate with a constant input of water and weakly cohesive sediment. Experiment shares identical boundary conditions as TDB-12, except the amount of polymer added to the input sediment for cohesion. Digital video was collected from camera above the basin. Images were taken with flow off at the end of each run hour. Colored red sediment represents coarsest 10% of input sediment distribution. More details of experiment can be found in manuscript:
Straub, K.M., Li, Q., Benson, W.M., 2015, Influence of sediment cohesion on deltaic shoreline dynamics and bulk sediment retention: A laboratory study, Geophysical Research Letters, v. 42, DOI: 10.1002/2015GL066131.

Moderately cohesive delta (TDB-13-S2) undergoing pure aggradation.
Video of laboratory experiment documenting evolution of channelized delta experiencing relative subsidence at a constant rate with a constant input of water and moderately cohesive sediment. Experiment shares identical boundary conditions as TDB-12, except the amount of polymer added to the input sediment for cohesion. Digital video was collected from camera above the basin. Red dye added to water aids identification of flow field. More details of experiment can be found in manuscript:
Straub, K.M., Li, Q., Benson, W.M., 2015, Influence of sediment cohesion on deltaic shoreline dynamics and bulk sediment retention: A laboratory study, Geophysical Research Letters, v. 42, DOI: 10.1002/2015GL066131.

Weakly cohesive delta (TDB-13-S1) undergoing pure aggradation.
Video of laboratory experiment documenting evolution of channelized delta experiencing relative subsidence at a constant rate with a constant input of water and weakly cohesive sediment. Experiment shares identical boundary conditions as TDB-12, except the amount of polymer added to the input sediment for cohesion. Digital video was collected from camera above the basin. Blue dye added to water aids identification of flow field. More details of experiment can be found in manuscript:
Straub, K.M., Li, Q., Benson, W.M., 2015, Influence of sediment cohesion on deltaic shoreline dynamics and bulk sediment retention: A laboratory study, Geophysical Research Letters, v. 42, DOI: 10.1002/2015GL066131.

Evolution of Synthetic Stratigraphy of a Strongly cohesive delta (TDB-12).
Evolution of synthetic stratigraphy generated a strongly cohesive delta experiment (TDB-12). Deltaic evolution in this experiment occurred with constant feeds of water and sediment and a constant base-level rise. Stratigraphy is generated from stacked topographic scans clipped for erosion. Each frame of movie represents evolution of stratigraphy over 1 hour. Top panel is stratigraphy from proximal cross-section, middle panel is from a distal cross-section and bottom panel is stratigraphy of a dip cross section. More details of experiment can be found in manuscript:
Straub, K.M., Li, Q., Benson, W.M., 2015, Influence of sediment cohesion on deltaic shoreline dynamics and bulk sediment retention: A laboratory study, Geophysical Research Letters, v. 42, DOI: 10.1002/2015GL066131.

Topographic evolution of Strongly cohesive delta (TDB-12).
Video of topographic evolution of a laboratory experiment documenting evolution of channelized delta experiencing relative subsidence at a constant rate with a constant input of water and strongly cohesive sediment. Elevation of each map is referenced to sea-level at that time. Topography collected on a 5 mm x 5 mm grid with a FARO Laser Scanner. More details of experiment can be found in manuscript:
Straub, K.M., Li, Q., Benson, W.M., 2015, Influence of sediment cohesion on deltaic shoreline dynamics and bulk sediment retention: A laboratory study, Geophysical Research Letters, v. 42, DOI: 10.1002/2015GL066131.

Strongly cohesive delta (TDB-12) undergoing pure aggradation.
Video of laboratory experiment documenting evolution of channelized delta experiencing relative subsidence at a constant rate with a constant input of water and strongly cohesive sediment. Digital video was collected from camera above the basin. Blue dye added to water aids identification of flow field. More details of experiment can be found in manuscript:
Straub, K.M., Li, Q., Benson, W.M., 2015, Influence of sediment cohesion on deltaic shoreline dynamics and bulk sediment retention: A laboratory study, Geophysical Research Letters, v. 42, DOI: 10.1002/2015GL066131.

Freeze cutting stratigraphy of TDB-13.
Video of TSDS team freeze cutting stratigraphy from TDB-13 experiment. This experiment utilized a sediment mixture developed by researchers at ExxonMobil and contains a fair amount of sub silt sized particles. Due to the fine nature of the sediment, it drains water poorly, meaning traditional dry cutting methods are out. We lower a steel wedge into the stratigraphy and fill the wedge with methanol and dry ice. This combination causes a reaction which lowers the steelís temperature to -78 degrees C. We then extract the wedge and stratigraphy frozen to it and clean the face up before imaging. A fun process, but one that involves a good amount of labor.

3 Non-cohesive deltas undergoing pure aggradation with different water and sediment feeds.
Video of laboratory experiments documenting evolution of 3 channelized deltas each experiencing their own constant relative subsidence rate and water and sediment feed rates. Video is presented at 720 times the actual experimental run-time. Video includes evolution of deltas over an 8.6 hr window. Blue dye added to water aids identification of flow field. More details of experiment can be found in manuscript:
Straub, K.M., and Esposito, C.R., 2013, Influence of water and sediment supply on the stratigraphic record of alluvial fans and deltas: Process controls on stratigraphic completeness, Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface, v. 118, doi:10.1002/JGRF.20061.

Evolution of Synthetic Stratigraphy Generated by a Non-cohesive delta undergoing pure aggradation
Video of laboratory experiments documenting evolution of channelized delta experiencing relative subsidence at a constant rate. Evolution of synthetic stratigraphy generated from topographic scans of delta topography clipped for erosion. Each frame of movie represents evolution of stratigraphy over 2 minute window. Stratigraphy from proximal laser location of TDB-11-1 experiment. Video is presented at 720 times the actual experimental run-time. Video includes evolution of delta. More details of experiment can be found in manuscript:
Straub, K.M., and Esposito, C.R., 2013, Influence of water and sediment supply on the stratigraphic record of alluvial fans and deltas: Process controls on stratigraphic completeness, Journal of Geophysical Research - Earth Surface, v. 118, doi:10.1002/JGRF.20061.

Non-cohesive delta undergoing pure aggradation
Video of laboratory experiments documenting evolution of channelized delta experiencing relative subsidence at a constant rate. Digital video was collected from camera at an approximately 45 degree from vertical which was then post-processed to remove camera distortion to yield a close to synoptic representation of the experimental basin. Video is presented at 360 times the actual experimental run-time. Video includes evolution of delta between run hours 70-79. Blue dye added to water aids identification of flow field. More details of experiment can be found in manuscript:
Wang, Y., Straub, K.M., Hajek, E.A., 2011, Scale dependant compensational stacking: an estimate of autogenic timescales in channelized sedimentary deposits, Geology, v. 39(9), p 811-814, DOI: 10.1130/G32068.1.

Channel steering by relay-ramp subsidence pattern
Video of laboratory experiment documenting evolution of channelized delta experiencing relay ramp relative subsidence pattern. Experiment includes four stages, where the rate of the tectonic tilting relative to the lateral migration rate of the channels varies between stages. Experiment was conducted in the Experimental Earthscape Facility (XES) at St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, University of Minnesota.


More Turbidity Currents in Sinuous Channels
Video of laboratory experiments documenting interactions between turbidity currents and topography in aggrading submarine channels of varying sinuosity. Digital video was collected from camera positioned directly above experimental basin and therefore yield a close to synoptic representation of the channelized-overbank flow field. Video is presented at 4 times the actual experimental time. Video includes experimental flows through channels with sinuosities of 1.00, 1.04, and 1.32. Each flow is clipped to incorporate the passage of both the turbidity current head and dye injections. More details of experiment can be found in manuscript:
Straub, K.M., Mohrig, D., Buttles, J., McElroy, B., Pirmez, C., 2011, Quantifying the influence of channel sinuosity on the depositional mechanics of channelized turbidity currents: A laboratory study, Marine Petroleum Geology, v. 28, p. 744-760, DOI:10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2010.05.014.

Backwards evolution of a seepage channel network in Bristol, FL
This movie shows the backwards evolution of the Florida network. Each colored polygon represents the geometric drainage area associated with the nearest channel head. The speed at which channels are retracted is proportional to this area. Note especially the simultaneous retraction of bifurcated channels to the original, unsplit, channel heads. Although we cannot be certain of the origin of all channel heads, the occurrence of such tip-splitting events at all times suggests that the backwards evolution is broadly correct.

Growth reconstruction of a seepage channel network in Bristol, FL
This movie reconstructs the forward evolution of the Florida network. It contains the same information as above video, but without the colored drainage areas. Note that the precise time of the birth of new channels by tip-splitting and side-branching must be obtained from the backwards evolution of the above video. More details of this model can be found in manuscript:
Abrams, D.M., Lobkovsky, A.E., Petroff, A.P., Straub, K.M., McElroy, B., Mohrig, D.C., Kudrolli, A., Rothman, D.H., 2009, Growth laws for channel networks incised by groundwater flow, Nature Geoscience, v. 2(3), p. 193-196, DOI: 10.1038/NGEO432.


Turbidity Currents in Sinuous Channel
Video of laboratory experiments documenting interactions between turbidity currents and topography in aggrading sinuous submarine channels. Digital video was collected from camera positioned directly above experimental basin and therefore yield a close to synoptic representation of the channelized-overbank flow field. Video is presented at 4 times the actual experimental time. Video includes experimental flows 2 and 20. Each flow is clipped to incorporate the passage of both the turbidity current head and dye injections. More details of experiment can be found in manuscript:
Straub, K.M., Mohrig, D.C., Buttles, J., McElroy, B., Pirmez, C., 2008, Interactions between turbidity currents and topography in aggrading sinuous submarine channels: A laboratory study, GSA Bulletin, v. 120(3/4), p. 368-385, DOI: 10.1130/B25983.1.

Last modified: 13 January 2015