Size, Dynamics and Consequences of Large-Scale Horizontal Coherent Structures in Open-Channel Flows: an Experimental Study
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This thesis concerns the occurrence of the large-scale bed and plan forms known as alternate bars and meandering, and the internal structures of the flow associated with their formation. The work is to be viewed as an extension of previous work by da Silva (1991), Yalin (1992), and Yalin and da Silva (2001). As a first step in this work, the criteria for occurrence of alternate bars and meandering of Yalin and da Silva (2001) is re-considered in view of additional field and laboratory data from the recent literature and data resulting from two series of experimental runs carried out in two sediment transport flumes. This leads to a number of modifications of the boundary-lines in the related existence-region diagram of Yalin and da Silva. The size of the largest horizontal coherent structures (HCS’s) of an alternate bar inducing flow was then investigated experimentally on the basis of three series of flow velocity measurements. These were carried out in a 21m-long, 1m-wide straight channel, conveying a 4cm-deep flow. The bed consisted of a silica sand having a grain size of 2mm; its surface was flat. The measurements were carried out using a Sontek 2D Micro ADV. The horizontal burst length was found to be between five and seven times the flow width. The effect of the HCS’s on the mean flow was also investigated. A slight internal meandering of the flow caused by the superimposition of burst-sequences on the mean flow was clearly detectable. Finally, with the aid of three new series of measurements in the same channel, an attempt was made to penetrate the dynamics and life-cycle of the HCS’s. For this purpose, quadrant analysis was used; the cross-sectional distribution of relevant statistical turbulence-related parameters was investigated; and cross-correlations of flow velocity along the flow depth and across the channel were performed. The analysis indicates that the HCS’s originate near the channel banks, with the location of ejections and sweeps being anti-symmetrically arranged with regard to the channel centreline, and then evolve so as to occupy the entire depth of the water and the entire width of the channel.