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Water 2016, 8(10), 418; doi:10.3390/w8100418

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

1
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
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, 100049 Beijing, China
3
Ecological Engineering Laboratory (ECOL), École Polytechnique Fédérale Lausanne (EPFL), 1015 CH Lausanne, Switzerland
4
River Engineering and Inland Shipping, Deltares, 2600 MH Delft, The Netherlands
5
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
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2132 KB, uploaded 23 September 2016]   |  

Abstract

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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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

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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