Studies on thickened tailings deposition in flume tests using the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) method

Jinglong Gao, Andy Fourie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations of laboratory flume tests on thickened tailings were conducted to highlight the factors that may influence the slopes of final profiles achieved in such flumes. The numerical model was first validated against the analytical solution of a sheet of Bingham fluid on a flat plane at flow stoppage. It was then used to investigate the influence of several factors on the average slopes of the final profiles. The results show that an increase of volume, energy, flume width or base angle reduces the resulting slope angle. Moreover, the yield stress of the fluid generally has more influence on the final profiles than the viscosity. In addition, the viscosity tends to have less influence on the formation of the final profiles if the inertial effects are relatively weak. Finally, two dimensionless parameters are proposed to establish the relationship between the average slope, rheological properties, and geometrical parameters for planar deposition of thickened tailings in both sudden-release (S-R) and discharge flume tests. These results provide a better understanding of the deposition of thickened tailings in the field. The agreement between simulation results and laboratory observations in the literature gives confidence in the veracity of the computational results.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)249-262
Number of pages14
JournalCanadian Geotechnical Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


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