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Turbulent flow around bluff bodies at the floodplain edge

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posted on 23.06.2011, 14:23 authored by Fiona Heatlie
This thesis examines the flow around bluff bodies placed at the floodplain edge in a compound, open channel. The floodplain edge location is associated with a strong shear layer between lower velocity floodplain flow and high velocity flow in the main channel. The drag force exerted by a bluff body is dependant on the way in which the flow separates around the body and subsequently recovers but the drag coefficients typically used to represent the effects of bluff bodies are based on experiments on bodies in geometrically simple channels. The differences induced in the wake structures and therefore in the drag coefficients of bluff bodies when they are placed in the shear layer at the floodplain edge are little understood. In this study, experimental data is gathered that allows direct comparison of the wakes of identical bluff bodies, both emergent (surface-piercing) and submerged, in simple and compound open channels. For the compound channel scenarios, for both single and multiple block arrangements, turbulence data is also reported. These results are augmented using a computational model based on the solution of the 3D Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes equations, using a non-linear turbulence model. The results show that the changes induced in the wake structures due to their location at the floodplain edge of the compound channel can have a significant effect on the drag coefficient. For the emergent bodies, the proximity of the deep main channel flow is shown to impact in a complex manner upon the processes of reattachment and re-separation, changing the formation of vorticity in the wake. For the submerged bodies, this is complicated by asymmetry in the same processes on the block top. For both body types, separation on the main channel side results in the creation of a strong axial circulation at the floodplain edge and the decay of the wake is asymmetrically affected by the differing behaviour of the turbulence on the two sides.



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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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