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Water 2016, 8(10), 418;

Modeling Flow Pattern and Evolution of Meandering Channels with a Nonlinear Model

Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Related Land Surface Processes, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100101 Beijing, China
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100049 Beijing, China
Ecological Engineering Laboratory (ECOL), École Polytechnique Fédérale Lausanne (EPFL), 1015 CH Lausanne, Switzerland
River Engineering and Inland Shipping, Deltares, 2600 MH Delft, The Netherlands
Environmental Fluid Mechanics Laboratory, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Clelia Luisa Marti
Received: 29 May 2016 / Revised: 13 September 2016 / Accepted: 15 September 2016 / Published: 23 September 2016
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Meander dynamics has been the focus of river engineering for decades; however, it remains a challenge for researchers to precisely replicate natural evolution processes of meandering channels with numerical models due to the high nonlinearity of the governing equations. The present study puts forward a nonlinear model to simulate the flow pattern and evolution of meandering channels. The proposed meander model adopts the nonlinear hydrodynamic submodel developed by Blanckaert and de Vriend, which accounts for the nonlinear interactions between secondary flow and main flow and therefore has no curvature restriction. With the computational flow field, the evolution process of the channel centerline is simulated using the Bank Erosion and Retreat Model (BERM) developed by Chen and Duan. Verification against two laboratory flume experiments indicates the proposed meander model yields satisfactory agreement with the measured data. For comparison, the same experimental cases are also simulated with the linear version of the hydrodynamic submodel. Calculated results show that the flow pattern and meander evolution process predicted by the nonlinear and the linear models are similar for mildly curved channels, whereas they exhibit different characteristics when channel sinuosity becomes relatively high. It is indicated that the nonlinear interactions between main flow and secondary flow prevent the growth of the secondary flow and induce a more uniform transverse velocity profile in high-sinuosity channels, which slows down the evolution process of meandering channels. View Full-Text
Keywords: numerical simulation; nonlinear model; meander evolution; bank erosion numerical simulation; nonlinear model; meander evolution; bank erosion

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Gu, L.; Zhang, S.; He, L.; Chen, D.; Blanckaert, K.; Ottevanger, W.; Zhang, Y. Modeling Flow Pattern and Evolution of Meandering Channels with a Nonlinear Model. Water 2016, 8, 418.

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