Taphonomy and turbulent flow dynamics

In summary, Terry is seeking assistance with developing a predictive model for taphonomy of dinosaur bones in a stream bank. They have built a stream table and plan to use the Manning Equation to determine velocity and then adjust for force and acceleration. However, due to the math abilities of the students, the calculations will likely be trig/algebra based. Another suggestion is to have the students experiment and discover an underlying law rather than starting with a predictive model.
  • #1
t1nick
5
0
I have an open question for anyone. My science/math modeling club is attempting to develop a predictive model for predicting the taphonomy of dinosaur bones exposed in a stream bank.

We have designed and built a 5ft X 5ft stream table with two curves. The idea id to put a large disarticulated rat skeleton at the apex of the first curve. Introduce a constant volume and flow of water (at a constant gradient) and see how far the different body part will travel downstream.

The problem lies in writing the initial predictive model. I know how to use the Manning Equation to determine the velocity in an open channel. But, the problem then becomes how to use that information to determine how far the force will carry or drive the bones fragments. I would like use the mass of the bones in the prediction and vector scalars, adjusting the force and acceleration with the change of direction at the two curves.

The limiting factor lies in the math ability of my students. They are Pre-calculus ( between them they have Algebra I, algebra II, & trig.). so my calcualtions need to probably be trig/algebra based.

If anybody out there can assist me I would greatly appreciate your input.

Terry Nickerson
 
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  • #2
This is an excellent project, but I think you are trying to do it backwards.

Given the sophistication of your students, perhaps it would be better to experiment with different conditions and try and discover an underlying law?
 
  • #3
Thanks Andy,

Derivation is often the best way to truly understanding a system. Let the students dsicover the forcdies and variable through independent discovery and create the algorithm or formulas by discovery. Let me cogitate on it awhile and I'll let you know how I''l approach it.

Thanks,
Terry
 

Related to Taphonomy and turbulent flow dynamics

1. What is taphonomy and why is it important?

Taphonomy is the study of how organisms decay and become fossilized. It is important because it helps us understand the processes involved in fossilization and how fossils are preserved and modified over time.

2. How does turbulent flow affect taphonomy?

Turbulent flow is the chaotic movement of fluids, such as water or air, and can greatly impact taphonomic processes. It can cause erosion or re-deposition of sediment, which can affect the preservation of fossils and their surrounding environment. It can also transport and scatter bones, making it difficult to accurately reconstruct fossil assemblages.

3. What is the relationship between taphonomy and paleoecology?

Taphonomy and paleoecology are closely related as taphonomic processes can greatly influence the interpretation of past ecosystems. For example, the type and condition of fossils found in an area can provide insights into the environment and how organisms lived and interacted with each other.

4. How do scientists study taphonomy and turbulent flow dynamics?

Scientists use various methods to study taphonomy and turbulent flow dynamics, including field observations, laboratory experiments, and mathematical modeling. They also use techniques such as sedimentology, geochemistry, and microscopy to analyze fossils and their surrounding sediment to understand the processes that led to their preservation.

5. What are some real-world applications of studying taphonomy and turbulent flow dynamics?

The study of taphonomy and turbulent flow dynamics has important applications in fields such as paleontology, archaeology, and forensic science. It also provides valuable information for resource exploration and management, such as predicting the distribution of fossil fuels or understanding the impact of sediment transport on marine ecosystems.

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