3D numerical modelling of dune formation and dynamics in inland waterways

Abstract : In this work the possibilities of direct modelling of large scale bed forms in waterways are highlighted and analysed. It is motivated by the fact that in river modelling, uncertainties in predicting water depth and bed movement can often be attributed to bed forms. Those bed forms are the dominating factor for bed load transport in many river stretches, which need to be maintained by the responsible waterways authorities.Hydrodynamic and morphodynamic experiments have been conducted at the Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute of Germany (BAW). High-resolution measurements have been performed over fixed, naturally formed three-dimensional sand dunes, which are at equilibrium with the surrounding flow field.Using these measured data sets, the hydrodynamic model is calibrated to simulate the complex flow situation over a train of several three-dimensional dunes. Simulation results show that it is possible to reproduce the measured turbulent flow field in the wake of the fixed dunes and that the measured and simulated water levels agree for the chosen configuration. Vertical and horizontal mesh resolution, friction coefficient, small scale bed forms and turbulence modelling are identified as most sensitive parameters during the calibration.The second part of this thesis focuses on morphodynamic simulations of the same experimental flume but with a mobile bed. High resolution measured bottom scans of the dune forms, developing over time, are available for comparison. Dune height and length, as well as the distribution moments, skewness and kurtosis are used to compare the dimensions of the dunes and also their shape and spatial distribution.Bed load transport formulation, skewness and kurtosis formulae, boundary conditions and the consideration of sub-grid scale roughness elements are the parameters which influence the quality of the results the most. A particular focus during the study is the inclusion of turbulent fluctuations in bed shear stress calculation. A new, total bed shear stress calculation is proposed, which incorporates mean flow velocities and turbulent kinetic energy provided by the turbulence model. With this approach, the numerical model is able to reproduce both qualitatively and quantitatively the measured mean bed forms dimensions and the shape moments of the physical dunes. It proves to be the only way to also produce the right distribution moment (kurtosis) of the dune field.Finally, the model is applied to project scale and tested on a stretch of the riverElbe, Germany. High resolution morphodynamic simulations coupled to 3D-hydrodynamics are conducted over several days for the chosen river stretch which is 4km in length. The dune forms preserve form and shape parameters and the dune speed agrees with the measured one. The simulations show promising results concerning the possibility of operational use of the model in the future. Local problems and statements, e.g. maintenance strategies such as changes in flow cross section, groynes and revetments, are possible tasks that can be examined
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Annalena Goll. 3D numerical modelling of dune formation and dynamics in inland waterways. Mechanics of the fluids [physics.class-ph]. Université Paris-Est, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016PESC1119⟩. ⟨tel-01542852⟩

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