3D numerical simulation of turbulent open-channel flow through vegetation
Kim, Su Jin
MetadataShow full item record
A comprehensive understanding of the hydrodynamics in vegetated open-channels and flow-vegetation interaction is of high interest to researchers and practitioners alike for instance in the content of river and coastal restoration schemes. The focus of this study was to investigate the effect of the presence of vegetation on flow resistance, turbulence statistics, and the instantaneous flow in open channels by performing three-dimensional computational-fluid-dynamics (CFD) simulations. Firstly, fully developed turbulent flow in fully-vegetated channel was analyzed by employing the method of high-resolution Large-Eddy Simulation (LES). Flow through a staggered array of rigid, emergent cylinders was simulated and the LES was validated through experiments. After validation, numerical simulations were performed at an extended parameter range of two different cylinder Reynolds numbers (ReD = 500 and 1340) and three different vegetation densities (φ = 0.016, 0.063, and 0.251). Flow structures and statistics were analyzed on the instantaneous flow and the effect of the vegetation density and cylinder Reynolds number was assessed. Moreover, drag forces exerted on the cylinders were calculated explicitly, and the effect of both ReD and φ on the drag coefficient was quantified. Secondly, two new alternative simulation strategies, a RANS based strategy with a vegetative closure model and a low-resolution Large-Eddy Simulation, were devised. They were evaluated by simulating several experimental cases with diverse conditions of the cylinder arrangement (i.e., staggered vs. random distribution), vegetation densities (φ = 0.016, 0.022, 0.063, 0.087, 0.091, 0.150, and 0.251), and cylinder Reynolds number (ReD = 170 - 1700). For the RANS based strategy, the importance of a-priori knowledge was assessed, and for the low-resolution LES, the efficiency and accuracy was demonstrated. Finally, a numerical strategy based on a porosity approach was developed and applied to open-channel flow through a natural plant. The simulated velocities were compared with experimentally acquired ones and results showed reasonable agreement. The results obtained in this research contribute to the understanding of fundamental mechanism of flow-vegetation interaction in vegetated open-channels, resolving turbulent flow-vegetation interaction explicitly. In addition, the new numerical strategies developed as part of this research are expected to allow describing the behavior of turbulent flow through artificial and natural vegetation with high efficiency and accuracy.