Abstract

Sheetfloods are typically invoked as the mechanism responsible for the kilometre-scale transport of sand-sized sediment grains in shallow-gradient fluvial systems. This concept is based on the lateral extent of ancient thin, sheet sandstone deposits rather than on fluid dynamics, which has resulted in a loosely constrained model for sheetfloods. This study tested the conceptual mechanism by developing a depth-averaged, 2D computational fluid dynamics model. The model results compare well against observations from modern deposits at Lake Eyre to provide a quantitative, physically sound basis for sheetfloods that can be applied in ancient and modern settings to constrain otherwise qualitative interpretations.

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