On the Simulation and Prediction of Bed Morphological Adjustments of Equilibrium in Alluvial Meandering Streams

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Dai, Wen Hong
Numerical Modeling , Meandering Stream , Bed Adjustment , Equilibrium State , Geometry Model , Sediment Transport Model
This thesis concerns the computation of bed adjustments of equilibrium in alluvial meandering streams. It is assumed that the channel centerlines follow sine-generated curves, the banks are rigid, and the steady-state flow is turbulent and sub-critical. The flow width is assumed to remain constant in the streamwise direction, and the flow width-to-depth ratio is large (>=15, say). The bed material is cohesionless and homogeneous. The purpose of the thesis is to develop and test a numerical model for the computation of bed development, given the aforementioned idealized conditions. The model comprises: 1- an initial bed topography generator, to generate the bed at time t = 0 of the calculations; 2- the vertically-averaged hydrodynamic model of Zhang (2007) to calculate the flow fields; and 3- a sediment transport model to relate the bed deformation to the flow. Both the initial bed topography generator (expression of the deformed bed surface) and the numerical sediment transport model based on the sediment transport continuity equation are original and developed entirely by the author. The resulting model is computationally very efficient. In contrast to previous works on the theoretical determination of bed deformation, the beds at the beginning of the calculations may represent any stage of the development process, and not necessarily the initial flat bed. The bed deformation was tested for several test cases, devised on the basis of laboratory runs available in the literature. These include Run ME-2 by Hasegawa (1983) in a 30-degree-channel, Run 3 by Binns (2006) in a 70-degree-channel and the run by Termini (1996) in a 110-degree-channel. The erosion/deposition patterns of the computed equilibrium bed topographies were found to be in reasonable agreement with their measured counterparts. However, as evidenced by the difference plots included in this thesis, in detail there are substantial differences between the computed and measured equilibrium beds, especially in the regions near the banks. As a by-product of the present thesis, the functions representing the parameters required by the hydrodynamic model of Zhang (2007) were also evaluated. In particular, the present results suggest that the coefficient Alpha-q appearing in the expression of the local friction factor (used in the flow model of Zhang 2007) depends on the flow width-to-depth ratio and bed roughness to a much larger extent than previously thought. Considering this, a generalization of the expression of Alpha-q due to El-Tahawy (2004) (and adopted by Zhang 2007 in her model) is proposed. Future work should be carried out to address the application of the present model to real river conditions, including generalizations to irregular meandering plan shapes, unsteady-state flows and non-homogenous bed materials.
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