Three-dimensional (3D) hydrostatic-pressure-assumption numerical models are widely used for environmental flows with free surfaces and phase interfaces. In this study, a new flow and sediment transport model is developed, aiming to be general and more flexible than existing models. A general set of governing equations are used for the flow and suspended sediment transport, an improved solution algorithm is proposed, and a new mesh type is developed based on the unstructured polygonal mesh in the horizontal plane and a terrain-following sigma mesh in the vertical direction. The new flow model is verified first with the experimental cases, to ensure the validity of flow and free surface predictions. The model is then validated with cases having the suspended sediment transport. In particular, turbidity current flows are simulated to examine how the model predicts the interface between the fluid and sediments. The predicted results agree well with the available experimental data for all test cases. The model is generally applicable to all open-channel flows, such as rivers and reservoirs, with both flow and suspended sediment transport issues.
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