Loughborough University
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Flow characteristics in straight compound channels with vegetation along the main channel

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posted on 2010-06-11, 15:59 authored by Benoit Terrier
This study investigates the complex flow structure generated by riparian emergent vegetation along the edge of floodplain. Detailed velocity and boundary shear stress measurements were carried out for various arrangements of emergent rigid cylindric rods of 3 mm, 6 mm and 9 mm diameters and for three different rod densities. In addition, the impact of foliage on the flow field was assessed during a series of experiments where brushes were used instead of smooth rods. The results of these new experiments are first presented. In addition to the laboratory data, field data was obtained through Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler measurements for two flood events in a stretch of the river Rhône that can be approximated to a straight compound channel with vegetated banks. The analysis of the flow structure highlights the presence of strong secondary circulation and increased vorticity on the river banks. The rods on the edge of the floodplain increase significantly flow resistance, reducing velocity and decreasing boundary shear stress. Flow rate was seen to decrease with increasing vegetative density for all cases except when foliage was added. This suggests that an optimum threshold density, for which a smaller density would lead to an increased flow rate might exist. Wakes trailing downstream of the vegetation stem, planform coherent structures advected between the main channel and the floodplain, and eddying motion in the flow due to enhanced turbulence anisotropy are among the defining patterns observed in the studied compound channel flows with one line of emergent vegetation along the edge of the floodplain. The Shiono and Knight Method (SKM) was modified in order to account for the increased turbulence activity due to the rods. The drag force term was introduced in the same way as in the work of Rameshwaran and Shiono (2007). However, a new term was added to the transverse shear stress term in the form of an Elder formulation, incorporating a friction drag coefficient which can be derived from the experimental data. In this proposed version, the advection term was set to zero. Another version of the SKM, similar to Rameshwaran and Shiono (2007), was also tested with the addition of a local drag friction only applied in the rod region. The proposed SKM version without the advection term was favored as it can be more closely related to the experimental data and to physical processes. Finally, the capabilities of Telemac-2D were tested against the experimental data for various turbulence models. The Large Eddy Simulation turbulence model highlighted some unsteady flow patterns that were observed during experiments, while satisfactorily predicting the lateral velocity and boundary shear stress distributions.



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© Benoit Terrier

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

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  • en