A sphere carried by laminar flow past a planar boundary experiences a force away from the boundary. The sedimentological implications of this effect, both for transportation of coarse sediment in strong turbu'ent flows and for deposition of fine sediments from oceanic bottom currents, were explored by estimating the lift force on small, nearly neutrally buoyant spheres suspended in laminar flow in a laboratory flume and evaluating how closely this models the lift force in the natural flows. The results suggest that this lift-force effect is not important in natural sedimentary processes.

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