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Using a Modified Hele-Shaw Cell to Understand the Layering of Strata by ProQuest


The modified Hele-Shaw cell lets us simulate sedimentation in a wide variety of situations from a river bed to a sedimentary basin. It illustrates deposition and erosion, stratigraphy, progradation, aggradation, and the origin of sedimentary structures such as beds, laminations, ripples and slumps. Using a narrow acrylic tank based on the Hele-Shaw cell, sediment and water are added at one end and water is withdrawn at the other. As observers watch sedimentary processes-in real-time, sediments build up in layers in the tank, demonstrating the nature of strata as a geological record. This engaging experiment is suitable for primary to university education. It has principally been used to teach the fundamentals, but can also be used by advanced students to experiment with other sediment-water interactions such as groundwater flow and angle of repose. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

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