In this paper, we investigate the performance of three-dimensional (3D) hydraulic modeling when dealing with river sinuosity and meander bends. In river bends, the flow is dominated by a secondary current, which has a key role on the flow redistribution. The secondary flow induces transverse components of the bed shear stress and increases the velocity in outward direction, thus generating local erosion and riverbed modifications. When in river bends, the 3D processes prevail, and a 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model is required to correctly predict the flow structure. An accurate description of the different hydrodynamic processes in mildly and sharply curved bends find a relevant application in meanders migration modeling. The mechanisms that drive the velocity redistribution in meandering channels depend on the river’s roughness, the flow depth (H), the radius curvature (R), the width (B) and the bathymetric variations. Here, the hydro-geomorphic characterization of sharp and mild meanders is performed by means of the ratios R/B, B/H, and R/H, and of the sinuosity index. As a case study, we selected the Malpasset dam break on the Reyran River Valley (FR), as it is perfectly suited for investigating performances and issues of a 3D model in simulating the inundation dynamics in a river channel with a varying curvature radius.
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