From fundamentals to implementation of yield stress for nautical bottom: Case study of the Port of Hamburg

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The nautical bottom (i.e., the level at which contact with a ship’s keel causes either damage or unacceptable effects on controllability and manoeuvrability of a ship) should be associated to a measurable physical characteristic. Bulk density is typically used as a criterion for nautical bottom by many ports worldwide. However, the rheological properties particularly the yield stress of mud are eventually more suitable parameters for defining a criterion for nautical bottom due to their strong correlation with the flow properties of mud and navigability. The density-yield stress correlation depends significantly on different parameters of mud such as organic matter type and content, clay type and content, particle size distribution and salinity. Therefore, a single critical value of density cannot be chosen for the nautical bottom criterion, where the above-mentioned parameters are varying from one location to another in the port. This justifies the need for a study of the rheological properties (yield stress) of mud. The main objective of this review article is to provide (i) an extensive overview of the rheological
properties (particularly yield stress) of mud from different sources, (ii) factors affecting the rheology of mud, and (iii) defining a nautical bottom for berthing areas in the port of Hamburg using a combination of yield stress and density.