Evaluation of the Jet Test Method for determining the erosional properties of Cohesive Soils; A Numerical Approach

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Virginia Tech


Estimates of bank erosion typically require field measurements to determine the soil erodibility since soil characteristics are highly variable between sites, especially for cohesive soils. The submerged jet test device is an in situ method of determining the critical shear stress and soil erodibility of cohesive soils. A constant velocity jet, applied perpendicular to the soil surface, creates a scour hole which is measured at discrete time intervals. While the results of these tests are able to provide values of critical shear stress and soil erodibility, the results are often highly variable and do not consider certain aspects of scour phenomena found in cohesive soils. Jet test measurements taken on the lower Roanoke River showed that the results varied for samples from similar sites and bulk failures of large areas of soil were common on the clay banks.

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) can be used to determine the effect of scour hole shape changes on the applied shear stress. Previous calculation methods assumed that the depth of the scour hole was the only parameter that affected the applied shear stress. The analysis of the CFD models showed that depth did heavily influence the maximum shear stress applied to the soil boundary. However, the scour hole shape had an impact on the flow conditions near the jet centerline and within the scour hole. Wide, shallow holes yielded results that were similar to the flat plate, therefore it is recommended that field studies only use jet test results from wide, shallow holes to determine the coefficient of erodibility and the critical shear stress of cohesive soils.



Computational fluid dynamics, Critical Shear Stress, Soil Erodibility, Submerged Turbulent Jet