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3-D NUMERICAL MODELING OF FLOW AND

SEDIMENT TRANSPORT IN RIVERS

Muluneh Admass

May 2005

TRITA-LWR.LIC 2028
ISSN 1650-8629
ISRN KTH/LWR/LIC 2028-SE
Muluneh Admass TRITA LWR.LIC 2028

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3-D Numerical modeling of flow and sediment transport in rivers

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS .............................................................................................................................. V

ABSTRACT......................................................................................................................................................... 1

INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................................................. 1

ECOMSED MODEL .........................................................................................................................................2

GOVERNING EQUATIONS ...........................................................................................................................2

Turbulence model............................................................................................................................................... 3

Boundary conditions........................................................................................................................................... 4

NUMERICAL METHODS ............................................................................................................................... 4

MODIFICATIONS AND IMPROVEMENTS.................................................................................................5

The bottom boundary condition......................................................................................................................... 5

Equivalent sand roughness ................................................................................................................................. 6

Shear stress partitioning...................................................................................................................................... 6

Bed load transport and bed evolution ................................................................................................................. 7

MODEL APPLICATION ..................................................................................................................................7

Model description and model boundary .............................................................................................................. 7

Grid generation .................................................................................................................................................. 8

Solution algorithm .............................................................................................................................................. 8

Model calibration................................................................................................................................................ 8

Grid Independence............................................................................................................................................. 8

Sensitivity Analysis ............................................................................................................................................. 9

Validation........................................................................................................................................................... 9

Flow field ........................................................................................................................................................... 9

Sediment transport ........................................................................................................................................... 10

DISCUSSION ................................................................................................................................................... 10

CONCLUSION .................................................................................................................................................11

REFERENCES ................................................................................................................................................ 24

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Muluneh Admass TRITA LWR.LIC 2028

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3-D Numerical modeling of flow and sediment transport in rivers

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
First I would like to acknoweledge the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency
(SIDA) for providing me the financial assistance to do my research work. Then I would like to
extend my deepest gratitude to my main supervisor Bijan Dargahi, who, with never ending pa-
tience, has shared with me his great scientific knowledge and research experience. Assistant su-
pervisors Klas Cederwal and Bayou Chane deserve special acknoweledgment. Special thanks to
Britt Chow for all her concern and support. Thanks Kirlna for all your sisterly help. I am also
very greatful to Hans Bergh, Aira Saarelainen, Nandita Singh, and other colleagues in the vatten-
byggnad and in the department of Land and Water Resources, KTH. I am indebted to my spiri-
tual father Aba Wolde Meskel, Tin’s family, my family and my friends here in Stockholm and at
home. Finally goes all my available thanks to my wife Tin.

Stockholm, May 2005

Muluneh Admass

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Muluneh Admass TRITA LWR.LIC 2028

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3-D Numerical modeling of flow and sediment transport in rivers

ABSTRACT
The fully integrated 3-D, time dependant, hydrodynamic and sediment transport numerical
model ECOMSED was used to simulate flow and sediment transport in rivers. ECOMSED was
originally developed for large water bodies such as lakes and oceans and solves the primitive
equations of RANS along with a second order turbulence model in an orthogonal curvilinear σ-
coordinate system. The availability of the model as an open FORTRAN source code made modi-
fications and addition of new models possible. A new bed load transport model was implemented
in the code as well as improvements in treatment of river roughness parameterization, bed form
effects, and automatic update of flow depth due to bed evolution. The model was applied to 1-
km long reach of the River Klarälven, Sweden, where it bifurcates into two west and east chan-
nels. The water surface and the flow division in the channels were made in agreement with field
data by spatially varying the roughness. However, the spatial distribution of the bed shear stress
was not realistic. Improvements were made in the bottom boundary condition to represent the
variable effects of bed forms on roughness depending on the flow regime and the flow depth.
The improved model realistically reproduced the flow field as well as the sediment transport
processes in the river Klarälven.

Key words: River model; ECOMSED model; River Klarälven; Bed load transport model

using a Large Eddy Simulation (LES). The


INTRODUCTION
model simulated periodic flow features in
River modelling applications can be grouped river confluences and agreed well with ex-
into 2-D depth-averaged hydrodynamic perimental data. Some recent applications on
models and 3-D models. An evaluation of use of 3-D sediment transport models are:
the extent to which 3-D models improve Gesseler et al. (1999), Holly and Spasojevic
predictive ability compared to 2-D models is (1999), Fang (2000), Rodi (2000), Weiming et
well described by Lane et al. (1999) and al. (2000), Nicholas (2001), and Dargahi
Gessler et al. (1999). They stated that a 3-D (2004). Gesseler et al. (1999) applied the U.S.
model is necessary for predicting sediment Army Corps Engineering code CH3D-SED
erosion and deposition whenever significant to the Deep Draft Navigation project on the
secondary currents exist, such as in river lower Mississippi River. The code predicted
bends, crossings, distributaries, or diversions. the sediment deposition in the river with an
Some recent research works on flow model- accuracy of less 13% in comparison with the
ling are: Weerakoon and Tamai (1989), Olsen observations. Holly and Spasojevic (1999)
and Stokseth (1995), Weiming et al. (1997), applied and verified the CH3D-SED code to
Sinha et al. (1998), Lane et al. (1999), Brad- study water and sediment diversion at the
brook et al. (2000), and Chau and Jiang Old River Control complex on the lower
(2001). Olsen and Stokseth (1995) carried out Mississippi river. Dargahi (2004) predicted
a 3-D simulation of an 80-m long reach of secondary flows and the general flow and
the river Sokna in Norway. The model suc- sediment transport patterns in a river that
cessfully predicted the flow features and the agreed well with field measurements. A brief
results were in good agreement with ob- review of the major developments in 3-D
served data. Sinha et al. (1998) did a compre- modeling and the limitations is also given by
hensive numerical study of the flow through Lane et al. (2002).
a 4-km reach of the Columbia River. They In this paper the fully integrated 3-D, time
succeeded in modelling both rapidly varying dependant, hydrodynamic and sediment
bed topography and the presence of multiple transport numerical model ECOMSED by
islands. The results agreed well with experi- Blumberg and Mellor (1987) is used.
ments and field measurements. In a recent ECOMSED was originally developed for
study, Bradbrook et al. (2000) modelled the large water bodies such as lakes and oceans
flow in a natural river channel confluence
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Muluneh Admass TRITA LWR.LIC 2028

and solves the primitive equations of RANS ∂u ∂v ∂w (1a-d)


+ + =0
along with a second order turbulence model ∂x ∂y ∂z
in an orthogonal curvilinear σ-coordinate ∂u
+u
∂u
+v
∂u
+w
∂u
=−
1 ∂p ⎛ ∂ 2u ∂ 2u ∂ 2u ⎞
+ υ ⎜⎜ 2 + 2 + 2 ⎟⎟
system. The availability of the model as an ∂t ∂x ∂y ∂z ρ ∂x ⎝ ∂x ∂y ∂z ⎠
open FORTRAN source code made modifi- ∂u ∂v ∂v ∂v 1 ∂p ⎛ ∂ v ∂ v ∂ 2v ⎞
2 2
+u +v +w = − + υ ⎜⎜ 2 + 2 + 2 ⎟⎟
cations and addition of new models possible. ∂t ∂x ∂y ∂z ρ ∂y ⎝ ∂x ∂y ∂z ⎠
The first objective of the present study was ∂u ∂w ∂w ∂w 1 ∂p ⎛ ∂2w ∂2w ∂ 2w ⎞
+u +v +w =− + υ ⎜⎜ 2 + 2 + 2 ⎟⎟ + g
to adapt and improve the ECOMSED model ∂t ∂x ∂y ∂z ρ ∂z ⎝ ∂x ∂y ∂z ⎠
for modeling flow and sediment transport in In which u , v, w are the velocity components
rivers. The second objective was to test the along x, y, z directions respectively, t is
applicability of the improved model to the
time, ρ is the fluid density, p is the pressure,
river Klarälven in the southwest part of Swe-
den. A new bed load transport model is im- υ is the fluid kinematic viscosity and g is the
plemented in the code as well as improve- gravitional force. The flow is assumed in-
ments in treatment of river roughness compressible (constant density) and the
parameterization, bed form effects, and fluid’s coefficient of viscosity is taken con-
automatic update of bed evolution. The stant. It is possible to solve the Navier-Stokes
improved model realistically reproduced the equations by direct numerical simulation (DNS) if
flow field as well as the sediment transport we can resolve all the relevant length scales
processes in the river Klarälven. The secon- which vary from the smallest eddies to scales
dary flows at the river bifurcation and around on the orders of the physical dimensions of
the bends were well reproduced. The results the problem domain. For channel flow the
also agreed well with the previous simulations number of grid points needed to resolve all
by Dargahi (2004). the relevant scales can be estimated from the
expression (Tannehill et al. 1997)
ECOMSED MODEL N DNS = (0.088 Re ) (2)
9/4
h

The ECOMSED model is a fully integrated In which Reh is the Reynolds number based
3-D hydrodynamic, wave and sediment
transport model. It has a free surface and a on the mean channel velocity and channel
height. This approach is limited to flows of
bottom following σ-coordinate system (for simple geometry and very low Reynolds
better representation of irregular bottom number. Another promising approach is
topography) with an orthogonal curvilinear known as large-eddy simulation (LES), in which
grid in the horizontal plane. Here follows a the large-scale structure of the turbulent flow
brief description of the governing equations, is computed directly and only the effects of
boundary conditions, the turbulence model the smallest (subgrid-scale) and more nearly
and the solution algorithms which are related isotropic eddies are modeled. The computa-
to the present study. Details of the model can tional effort required for LES is less than that
be found in Blumberg (2002). of DNS by approximately a factor of 10
using present-day methods. The main thrust
GOVERNING EQUATIONS
of present-day research in computational
The fundamental equations of fluid dynamics fluid dynamics is through the time averaged
are based on the conservation of mass and Navier-Stokes equations also known as the
momentum. Conservation of mass yields the Reynolds averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equa-
continuity equation while conservation of tions. These equations are derived by de-
momentum yields the momentum equation. composing the dependent variables in the
Both equations are widely known by Navier- conservation equations in to time-mean (ob-
Stokes equations. Here follows the Navier- tained over an approximate time interval) and
Stokes equations in the Cartesian coordinate fluctuating components and then time aver-
system ( x, y , z axis). aging the entire equation (Tannehill et al.
1997). Time averaging the equations of mo-

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3-D Numerical modeling of flow and sediment transport in rivers

tion gives rise to new terms, which can be Turbulence model


interpreted as “apparent” stress gradients Turbulence models are used to relate the new
associated with the turbulent motion. correlations that appeared in the RANS equa-
ECOMSED model solves the RANS equa- tions and in the mean sediment concentra-
tions with the hydrostatic assumption and the tion equation with mean values or in other
three-dimensional equation describing the words to close the system of equations. Here
advection and diffusion of sediment particles follows the description of equations used in
given below, ECOMSED to relate the new correlations
∂U ∂V ∂W
+ + =0
(3a-e) with the mean values.
− (w'u ' , w'v ' ) = K M (U , V )
∂x ∂y ∂z ∂ (6a-d)
∂U ∂U ∂U ∂U 1 ∂P ∂z
+U +V +W =− +
∂t ∂x ∂y ∂z ρ ∂x
∂ ⎛ ∂U ⎞ ∂ ⎛ ∂U ⎞ ∂ ⎛ ∂U ⎞
( ) ⎛ ∂V ∂U ⎞
− u ' u ' , v ' v ' = 2 AM ⎜⎜ , ⎟⎟
⎜υ − u 'u ' ⎟ + ⎜⎜υ − v 'u ' ⎟⎟ + ⎜υ − w 'u ' ⎟ ⎝ ∂y ∂x ⎠
∂x ⎝ ∂x ⎠ ∂y ⎝ ∂y ⎠ ∂z ⎝ ∂z ⎠
⎛ ∂U ∂V ⎞
∂V ∂V ∂V ∂V 1 ∂P − u 'v ' = −v 'u ' = AM ⎜⎜ + ⎟
+U +V +W =− + ⎝ ∂y ∂x ⎟⎠
∂t ∂x ∂y ∂z ρ ∂y
∂ ⎛ ∂V
⎜υ
∂x ⎝ ∂x
⎞ ∂ ⎛ ∂V
− u 'v ' ⎟ + ⎜⎜υ
⎠ ∂y ⎝ ∂y
⎞ ∂ ⎛ ∂V
− v ' v ' ⎟⎟ + ⎜υ
⎠ ∂z ⎝ ∂z

− w'v ' ⎟

( ) ⎛
− u 'c ' , v 'c ' , w'c ' = ⎜⎜ AH

∂C
∂x
, AH
∂C
∂y
, KH
∂C ⎞

∂z ⎟⎠
∂P
ρg = −
∂z
In which K M is the eddy viscosity, K H is the
∂C ∂UC ∂VC ∂ (W − Ws )C eddy diffusivity, AM is the horizontal viscosity
+ + + =
∂t ∂x ∂y ∂z and AH is the horizontal diffusivity. The
∂ ⎛ ∂C ⎞ ∂ ⎛ ∂C ⎞ ∂ ⎛ ∂C ⎞ horizontal viscosity AM is calculated accord-
⎜Γ − u 'c ' ⎟ + ⎜⎜ Γ − v 'c ' ⎟⎟ + ⎜ Γ − w 'c ' ⎟
∂x ⎝ ∂x ⎠ ∂y ⎝ ∂y ⎠ ∂z ⎝ ∂z ⎠
ing to Smagorinsky (1963)
In which U , V , W are mean velocity compo- 1

nents in the x, y , z directions respectively 1 ⎡⎛ ∂U ∂U j ⎞


2
⎤2 (7)
AM = c∆2 ⎢⎜ i + ⎟ ⎥
2 ⎢⎜⎝ ∂x j ∂xi ⎟ ⎥
( x is the main flow direction, y is the stream ⎣ ⎠ ⎦
wise direction, z is vertical to the bed) while In which c = 0.01, ∆2 = ∆x∆y, and Einstein
u ' , v ' , w ' are the corresponding fluctuating convention is used. ∆x and ∆y are the grid
velocity components, C is the mean sediment spacing in the x and y directions respectively.
concentration and c ' is the flactuating com- The horizontal diffusivity AH is usually set
ponent, Γ is sediment diffusivity and Ws is the equal to AM . K M and K H are obtained by ap-
settling velocity of sediment particles. The pealing to a second order turbulence closure
new correlations that appeared in the above scheme developed by Mellor and Yamada
equations are related with the mean values (1982) which characterizes the turbulence by
using turbulence models. The settling velocity equations for the turbulence kinetic energy,
of sediment particles is calculated from the 1 2 , and turbulence macroscale, l , accord-
q
effective diameter of the suspended sediment 2
using the semi-empirical formulation of ing to,
Cheng (1997) ∂q 2
+U
∂q 2
+V
∂q 2
+W
∂q 2 ∂ ⎛
= ⎜⎜ K q
∂q 2 ⎞
⎟+
(8a,b)
∂t ∂x ∂y ∂z ∂z ⎝ ∂z ⎟⎠
υ
[
(25 + 1.2 D 2 )0.5 − 5 ] (4)
1 .5

W = ⎡⎛ ∂U ⎞ 2
⎛ ∂V ⎞ ⎤ 2q
2 3
∂ ⎛
+ ⎜⎜ AH
∂q 2 ⎞ ∂ ⎛
⎟ + ⎜ AH
∂q 2 ⎞
⎟⎟
s * 2 K M ⎢⎜ ⎟ +⎜ ⎟ ⎥−
D50
⎣⎢⎝ ∂z ⎠ ⎝ ∂z ⎠ ⎦⎥ B1 l ∂x ⎝ ∂x ⎟⎠ ∂y ⎜⎝ ∂y ⎠
⎡ ( s − 1) g ⎤ (5) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
1/ 3
∂ q 2l ∂ q 2l ∂ q 2l ∂ q 2l ∂ ⎛ ∂ q 2l ⎞
D* = ⎢ ⎥⎦ D50 +U +V +W = ⎜⎜ K q ⎟+
⎣ υ
2
∂t ∂x ∂y ∂z ∂z ⎝ ∂z ⎟⎠
⎡⎛ ∂U ⎞ 2 ⎛ ∂V ⎞ 2 ⎤ q 3 ~ ∂ ⎛ ∂q 2l ⎞ ∂ ⎛ ∂q 2l ⎞
In which D50 is particle diameter for 50% lE1 K M ⎢⎜ ⎟ +⎜ ⎟ ⎥ − W + ⎜⎜ AH ⎟⎟ + ⎜⎜ AH
∂y ⎟⎠

⎣⎢⎝ ∂z ⎠ ⎝ ∂z ⎠ ⎦⎥ B1 ∂x ⎝ ∂x ⎠ ∂y ⎝
finer of bed material, D* is the dimensionless
In which A1 , A2 , B1 , B2 , E1 , E 2 , S q are empirical
grain size and s is specific density.
constants. The wall proximity function, W~ , is
defined as

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Muluneh Admass TRITA LWR.LIC 2028

~ ⎛ l ⎞
2
(9) In which U bt , Vbt , Wbt are the velocity compo-
W = 1 + E2 ⎜ ⎟
⎝ κL ⎠ nents at the bottom, E − D is the sediment
1
=
1
+
1 (10) flux at the water sediment interface which is
L η−z H +z calculated using the van Rijn (1984a) proce-
In which κ is the von Karman constant, η is dure and uτb is the bottom friction velocity
the water surface elevation and H is the associated with the bottom frictional
water depth. While details of the closure stress (τ bx ,τ by ) . In ECOMSED the bottom
module are rather involved, it is possible to stress is determined by matching velocities
reduce prescription of the mixing coefficients with the logarithmic law of the wall.
to the following expressions,
τ b = ρC D Vb Vb (14)
K =
lq (11a-c)
M
B1
1/ 3
With the value of the drag coefficient CD
⎛ 6A ⎞ given by
K H = lqA2 ⎜⎜1 − 1 ⎟⎟ −2
⎝ B2 ⎠ ⎡ 1 ⎛ H + zb ⎞⎤
C D = ⎢ ln⎜⎜ ⎟⎟⎥ (15)
K q = lqS q
⎣κ ⎝ zo ⎠⎦
Empirical constants A1 , A2 , B1 , B2 , E1 , E2 , S q are In which zb and Vb are the grid point and
0.92, 0.74, 16.6, 10.1, 1.8, 1.33, 0.2 respectively (Mel- corresponding resultant horizontal velocity in
lor and Yamada 1982). the grid point nearest to the bottom. The
parameter z0 depends on the local bottom
Boundary conditions
roughness.
The boundary conditions are specified as
surface, bottom and open boundaries. Open lateral boundary: Two types of open
boundaries exist, inflow and outflow. The
Free surface: The boundary conditions at the normal component of velocity is specified
free surface, z = η ( x, y, t ) , are while a free slip condition is used for the
ρK M ⎜
⎛ ∂U ∂V ⎞
, ⎟ = (τ ox ,τ oy )
(12a-e) tangential component at inflow boundaries.
⎝ ∂z ∂z ⎠ Turbulence kienetic energy and the macro-
q 2 = B1 uτs
2/3 2
scale quantity ( q 2l ) are calculated with suffi-
q 2l = 0
cient accuracy at the boundaries by neglecting
the advection in comparison with other terms
∂η ∂η ∂η
W =U +V + in their respecttive equations. The sediment
∂x ∂y ∂t
concentration data at the inlet is specified,
∂C
KH =0 whereas at outflow boundaries the mixed
∂z
boundary condition is used. The clamped
In which (τ ox ,τ oy ) is the surface wind stress boundary condition in ECOMSED allows
vector with the surface friction velocity, uτs , assigning observed water level along the open
being the magnitude of the vector. boundary grids.
Bottom boundary: The boundary conditions at NUMERICAL METHODS
bottom boundary, z = H ( x, y ) , are
The governing equations and boundary con-
⎛ ∂U ∂V ⎞
ρK M ⎜ , ⎟ = (τ bx ,τ by ) (13a-e) ditions are transformed in to a vertical σ -
⎝ ∂z ∂z ⎠
layer and an orthogonal curvilinear horizontal
q 2 = B1 uτb
2/3 2
( ξ1ξ 2 ) coordinate system. The σ - transforma-
q 2l = 0 tion is given by
∂H ∂H z −η
Wbt = −U bt
∂x
− Vbt
∂y σ= (16)
H +η
∂C
KH =E−D In which η is the water surface elevation.
∂z
The vertically and horizontally transformed
set of equations is approximated by a finite

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3-D Numerical modeling of flow and sediment transport in rivers

difference scheme using a spatially staggered ing aspects in the model the river Klarälven
grid. The leap frog scheme with the Cou- was used as a case study. Realistic and com-
rant-Friedrichs-Levy (CFL) computational parable results with field measurements and
stability condition and a weak filter to re- with previous simulations using other models
move solution splitting at even and odd time were obtained after the following improve-
steps is employed for time differencing. ments and modifications were made.
Three options (upwind difference, central
difference and Multidimensional Positive The bottom boundary condition
Definite Advection Transport Algorithm) are The bottom boundary condition used in
available for spatial differencing. The hydro- ECOMSED as given in equations (14) and
dynamic module (ECOM) is 3-D with a split (15) is the generalization of the logarithmic
external-internal mode algorithm; the exter- law which assumes the same roughness in the
nal mode explicitly solves the depth inte- whole computational domain. However, in
grated equations with short time steps to rivers roughness which is composed of skin
resolve fast moving waves and to determine friction due to bed grains and drag form due
the water surface elevation. The internal to bed forms varies spatially and temporally
mode uses the computed water surface eleva- depending on the local flow depth and the
tion and implicitly solves the vertical struc- local flow regime. The bottom boundary
ture of the flow with a shorter time step. The condition was reformulated as follows to
internal mode then updates some of the directly represent the spatial and temporal
variables of the external mode for the next variation of the bottom roughness. Starting
time step to begin. At regular intervals speci- from the general equation of the logarithmic
fied by the user the sediment transport mod- universal velocity distribution (Schlichting
ule (SED) which uses the same numerical 1968)
grid, structure and computational framework Vb 1 ⎛ ( H + z b )u* ⎞ (17)
as the hydrodynamic model simulates sedi- = ln⎜ ⎟ + B − ∆B
u* κ ⎝ υ ⎠
ment resuspension, transport and deposition
of cohesive and non-cohesive sediments In which B = 5.45 , κ = 0.41 and ∆B , the rough-
using the previously computed hydrodynamic ness induced velocity deficit is a function of
variables. the equivalent roughness height k s . Denoting
k s u* / υ by k s+ and using the interpolation for-
MODIFICATIONS AND mula by Cebeci and Bradshaw (1977)
IMPROVEMENTS ⎧
⎪ 0 k s+ < 2.25
The application of ECOMSED to rivers can ⎪
⎪ ⎡ 1 ⎤
{ [ ]}
∆B = ⎨ ⎢ B − 8.5 + ln k s+ ⎥ sin 0.4258 ln k s+ − 0.811 2.25 ≤ k s+ ≤ 90
be improved by considering some of the ⎪ ⎣ κ ⎦

specific features of river hydraulics that dif- ⎪

B − 8. 5 +
1
κ
ln k +
s k s+ > 90

fers from large scale motions such as rough- (18)


ness, spatial variations of flow depth, and bed
Using equation (17) and (18) the roughness
load transport. In rivers, significant variations
in channel and river bed roughness are parameter z 0 in equation (15) becomes
found. Furthermore, the formation of bed υ
forms directly affects the resistance to flow as z0 = ( B − ∆B ) κ
(19)
u* e
well as the distribution of bed shear stresses.
The other aspect is the spatial variation of the Equation (19) allows specifying spatially and
flow depth that affects the velocity distribu- temporally variable roughness depending on
tion and the boundary layer characteristics. the velocity deficit ∆B which is a function of
In ECOMSED model a constant roughness the local equivalent sand roughness and the
value is used. The effect of bed form rough- local shear Reynolds number as shown in
ness which depends on the local flow regime equation (18). Available empirical formulas
is not considered. The bed load transport is were used to compute the equivalent sand
also not modeled. To implement the forgo- roughness of bed grains and bed forms as

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Muluneh Admass TRITA LWR.LIC 2028

described in the next section. Further modifi- ⎛ ⎛ H + zb ⎞ ⎞

cation was done to solve the problem of υ − ( B − ∆B )κ − Π ⎜⎜ 1− cos ⎜⎜ π


⎝ βH ⎠ ⎠
⎟⎟ ⎟⎟
z0 = e ⎝
(22)
locating the last grid in the narrow range of u*
the logarithmic region in highly variable river For a given set of σ - layers equation (22)
bed topography. This can be described as needs a minimum depth to be set so that the
follows. The logarithmic law defined by equa- first grid off the bed surface lies above z0 in
tion (17) is valid approximately in the
the whole computational domain.
range 40υ ≤ (H + z b ) ≤ 0.2δ where δ is the
u*
Equivalent sand roughness
thickness of the boundary layer. Since
ECOMSED uses the same number of verti- Equivalent sand roughness is composed of
cal grids, the validity of the logarithmic law grain, saltation and bed form roughness. The
requires the depth, ( H + z b ) , which is half component of roughness due to saltation and
bed forms depends on the local flow depth
depth of the last σ - layer to be located within
and local flow regime. As a result, the equiva-
the logarithmic region throughout the whole
lent sand roughness in rivers varies both in
computational domain. In rivers as there are
space and time. The problem is how to de-
high spatial and temporal variations in flow
lineate the areas where the bed forms are
depth and flow regime satisfying the validity
contributing to the resistance and where they
limits everywhere in the computational do-
are not. Generally the van Rijn’s (1984b)
main is difficult if not impossible. One possi-
procedure can be used to identify the local
ble approach is to use a universal velocity
bed forms and the corresponding equivalent
distribution law which is valid for the whole
sand roughness depending on the dimen-
flow depth. The validity of the logarithmic
sionless grain size and transport stage pa-
region can be extended to the whole flow
rameter. In this study the average observed
depth by using the velocity defect law (Coles
energy gradient and the critical shear velocity
1956), given by equation (20).
for the average bed grain size of the river
Vb 1 ⎛ (H + z b )u* ⎞ Π ⎛ H + zb ⎞ (20) were used to compute the ‘critical’ flow
= ln ⎜ + B − ∆B +
⎟ ⎜f ⎟
u* κ ⎝ υ ⎠ κ ⎝ δ ⎠ depth below and above which we have only
In which Π is the profile parameter grain roughness. A polynomial fit was then
and f ( H + z b ) is the wake function. The used to smooth out the spatial z 0 distribu-
δ tion of the neighboring cells around the
boundary layer thickness can be computed ‘critical’ flow depth. The grain roughness was
from equation (21) for known values of free taken as 3D90 . Wiberg and Rubin (1985) sug-
stream velocity, U ∞ and the distance
gested the saltation roughness in terms of
l (Schlichting 1968).
−1
z 0 value to be approximately 0.1 cm. Field
⎛U l ⎞ 5 (21) studies showed that the river bed for the test
δ = 0.37l ⎜ ∞ ⎟
⎝ υ ⎠ case of this study is composed of three di-
For rivers equation (21) is difficult to evaluate mensional ripples and the equivalent bed
as the velocity profiles could be skewed due roughness due to ripples was calculated ac-
to 3-D effects and the flow field may contain cording to Grant and Madsen (1982)
many flow separated regions. For practical ∆2
k s = 27.7 (23)
applications the boundary layer thickness can λ
be assumed to be related to the flow depth, In which ∆ is bed form height and λ is bed
i.e., δ = β H . A new expression for z 0 can be form length.
obtained from equation (20) for the wake law
with an empirical fit to the wake function Shear stress partitioning
given by Cebeci & Bradshaw (1977) The other modification made was shear
stress partitioning (in areas where bed form is
contributing to flow resistance) to extract the

6
3-D Numerical modeling of flow and sediment transport in rivers

effective part of the stress that contributes to T 2.1


q b* = 0.053[( s − 1) g ] D50 (28)
0.5 1.5
sediment transport. The effective shear ve- D*
0.3

'
locity, u * , for the lower flow regime (ripples Ls = 3D50 D* T 0.9
0.6
(29)
and dunes) was calculated by using the flow
resistance relationship by Engelund and Substituting equation (27) in equation (28)
Hansen (Yang 1996). produces an elliptic equation. First order
0 .5
upwind scheme discretization of the resulting
⎛ u*
4
⎞ (24) equation produces a tri-diagonal matrix
u* = ⎜⎜ 0.06 g ( s − 1) D50 + 0.4 ⎟
'

⎝ g ( s − 1) D50 ⎟⎠ which was solved using the modified strongly


implicit procedure of Stone (1968). The bed
The transport stage parameter, T which is
evolution was evaluated using the leap-frog
used for the computation of suspended and
method using equation (27). The depth of the
bed load was calculated using this effective
water was then adjusted according to the
shear velocity (van Rijn 1984a and van Rijn
changes in the bed so that the flow field can
1984b)
respond to the new situation.
T=
(u ) − (u
*
' 2
*,crbed )
2
(25)
(u *,crbed) 2 MODEL APPLICATION

In which u*,crbed is the critical bed shear ve- The improved model was applied to a test
case, the river Klarälven.
locity which depends on the local shear Rey-
nolds number and was calculated using the Model description and model boundary
Shields curve for initiation of motion. The
The river Klarälven enters Sweden in the
critical shear velocity was also corrected for
north of the county of Värmland. Its course
the bottom and side slopes according to
in Värmland is south down to the river
Chien (1999).
mouth on lake Vänern at the city of Karlstad
Bed load transport and bed evolution where it bifurcates into an east and west
channels. Vänern is the largest freshwater
In rivers the contribution of bed load trans- lake in Sweden. The course of the river is a
port to the total load can be significant. Thus sequence of regular meanders that are unique
a realistic modeling of sediment transport with respect to size and regularity. A one
would require the inclusion of the bed load kilometre long reach of the river was mod-
transport. This was done by including the elled that extends 0.5 km upstream of the
bed load in the sediment mass-balance equa- bifurcation (Figure 1). To insure uniform
tion for the bed evolution. inlet boundary conditions, the upper limit of
∂z b ∂α bξ1 qb ∂α bξ 2 qb (26) the reach was placed in a straight river sec-
(1 − p ) +E−D+ + =0
∂t ∂ξ1 ∂ξ 2 tion. The river topography was measured in
In which q b is the actual bed load transport, April 2004 at 11312 points scattered along
the river reach. The mean measurement
p is the porosity of the bed material, α bξ1 and resolution ranges from 2 m to 6 m. The flow
α bξ 2 are the direction cosines in the or- discharges at the inlet and the two outlets
thogonal curvilinear coordinates ξ1 and defined by east and west channels were
measured. Point velocity measurements were
ξ 2 respectively. A formulation for the bed also taken at the inlet at 10 m intervals across
deformation (Rodi 2000) was used. the stream and at 0.5 m intervals in the verti-
∂z b cal direction. To define the inlet boundary
(1 − p ) =
1
(qb − qb * ) (27)
conditions, the velocities along a vertical at
∂t Ls
each station were fitted to the wake law ve-
The equilibrium bed load transport, qb* and
locity distribution to obtain the bed shear
the non-equilibrium adaptation length for velocity. A continuous distribution of the bed
bed load transport, Ls were calculated accord- shear velocity across the stream was obtained
ing to van Rijn (1984a) by fitting a curve to the bed shear velocities
7
Muluneh Admass TRITA LWR.LIC 2028

calculated for each station. The velocity at the water division and the water surface
different σ -layers for each computational profile. The normalized error in the com-
inlet grid was then computed using the wake puted flow division was with in 0.8 % (West
law velocity distribution with the shear veloc- channel) and 0.6 % (east channel) while the
ity at the same grid. The observed water normalized error in the water surface varied
levels at the outlet of the east and west chan- with in 0.14 % in the deep areas to 3 % in the
nels were specified. River bottom above the shallow areas.
observed water surface was considered as dry
or inactive cell. Flow depths less than 0.2 m Grid Independence
were considered as 0.2 m to avoid instabilities A grid dependency study was carried out to
due to sediment deposition. At the inlet and minimize numerical errors due to coarse
outlet boundaries equilibrium bed load was discretization. In the horizontal direction the
assumed while zero suspended sediment number of grids was dictated by the available
concentration was used at the inlet boundary resolution of the bottom topography. Five
as sediment load data was not available. vertical layers were taken to start with. By
spatially varying the roughness the normal-
Grid generation ized error in the water surface profile was
The numerical model was built using the made to lie within 0.2 to 5 % and the flow
interpolated bottom topography (Figure 1). division was 0.6 % in the west channel and
The horizontal orthogonal curvilinear grid 0.4 % in the east channel. The number of
was generated by CCHE2D mesh generator grids in the vertical direction was increased
using the Poisson scheme with smoothness from 5 to 7. By using the same roughness
and orthogonality of 91 and 95 %, respec- distribution used for 5 layers the normalized
tively. The average grid spacing in the com- error in the water surface profile was within
putational domain was about 6.0 m. The grid 0.17 to 4 % and the flow division was 0.66 %
spacing around the bifurcation and around in the west channel and 0.48 % in the east
the bends was made finer with an average channel. There was no significant change in
spacing of 2.0 m. the water surface profile and flow division.
However, the change in the shear stress was
Solution algorithm very significant (the normalized change be-
In this study, data for discharge hydrograph tween the shear stress fields of 5 and 7 layers
was not available and the flow simulation was was about 10 % and greater). When the
done for an observed steady flow of 285 number of grids was increased to 9 the nor-
m3/s which lasted for 2 hours. The model malized shear stress change between 7 and 9
was run with time steps of 0.2 seconds for layers was less than 3%. The results are
the internal mode and 0.02 seconds for the summarized in Table 1. Thus, the resolution
external mode with a ramping of 10000 steps. 126x48x9 is sufficient to obtain reliable nu-
The model was restarted and run for extra merical results.
steps until steady state flow field was ob-
tained. The sediment transport was then Table 1. Table showing the change in the
activated and the model was run for 2 hours. normalized errors and shear stress as the
number of vertical layers is increased.
Model calibration
Lay- Normalized Normalized Normalized
The model was calibrated for a discharge of ers error in error in flow change in
285 m3/s using the measured water surface water [%] bottom shear
surface [%] stress
profiles and discharge division between the West East
two river channels. The percentage of the 5 0.2 – 5.0 0.6 0.4
discharge into west and east channels were
7 0.17 - 4.0 0.66 0.48 >= 10 %
42% and 58%, respectively. Model calibration
9 0.23 – 5.3 0.58 0.42 <= 3 %
was done for a grid number of 126x48x9 by
spatially varying the roughness to satisfy both

8
3-D Numerical modeling of flow and sediment transport in rivers

Sensitivity Analysis files. At the bifurcation point (stagnation)


Sensitivity analysis was made to check how the local increase in water surface elevation is
far simulation results were sensitive to bed shown. The model also predicted the trans-
roughness used for calibration. The water verse water-surface slope at the river bend in
surface difference between the inlet and the agreement with the physics of the helicoidal
outlet was found to vary approximately line- secondary flows. The water surface su-
arly with the roughness while the flow divi- perelevation depths between the outside
sion in the east and west channel was found bank and inside bank ranged between 5 to 8
not sensitive to changes in roughness. Suc- mm in the east channel bend and from 3 to 9
cessively increasing the roughness from a mm in the west channel bend. They were
z 0 value of 1 cm to 2 cm and to 3 cm pro- comparable to approximate values of 7 mm
(East channel) and 8 mm (west channel)
duced an average water surface gradient of computed using lppen and Drinker (1962)
0.007 %, 0.01% and 0.013%, respectively. method.
However, the bottom shear stress was found
to be very sensitive to the change in the The velocity vectors closely followed the bed
roughness. A similar increment of roughness topography. A general flow diversion from
the main channel to the east channel was
from a z 0 value of 1 cm to 2 cm produced a
detected that explains the large portion of the
spatial bottom shear stress variation of up to total flow entering the east channel. The flow
40 %. field showed horizontal secondary flows
following the river banks at locations where
Validation the river topography forces flow separations
A comprehensive validation of the model to occur. The examination of the velocity
would require extensive field data on water vectors and velocity contours in different
surface profiles, velocity profiles, secondary horizontal planes showed that the flow sepa-
flow structures and flow circulation regions. ration regions had a complex 3D form that
For the purpose of this study only limited extended from the water surface to the river
data were available at two different discharge bed. The velocity vectors upstream of the
values of 285 m3/s and 136 m3/s. The model bifurcation also showed a significant varia-
was validated with the field data for 136 m3/s tion with the depth. The surface velocity
by using the roughness distribution obtained vectors (Figure 4) showed no secondary
during calibration for 285 m3/s. In compari- flows apart from flow line convergence due
son with field data, the normalized error in to the local increased in the depth. However,
the observed water surface profile varied from the fourth sigma layer downwards large
from 0.11 % to 1.33 %. The normalized error flow recirculation regions appeared (Figures 5
in the flow division was 2.44 % for the west and 6).
channel and 1.56 % for the east channel. The general patterns of the secondary flows
Regarding the flow field, stream lines as well in the vertical directions were predicted by
as the local flow circulation region upstream the model. Few examples are given in Fig-
of the river bifurcation agreed well with the ures 7(a-d) where the velocity vectors, veloc-
field observations (Figure 2). The predicted ity contours and the interpolated secondary
secondary flow fields also showed a general flows are shown. The velocity contours for
agreement with the previous simulations different layers are given in figures 8(a-h) to
done by Dargahi (2004). show the general pattern of velocity variation
in the vertical direction. The bed shear
Flow field
stresses were computed as total as well as
The flow field in the river was successfully effective stresses, Figures 9 and 10 showing
simulated by the model that included the the two cases, respectively. The distributions
water surface profiles, velocities, secondary of shear stresses are similar for both cases
flows, and bed shear stresses. Figure 3 shows although the magnitudes of total shear
the contour lines of the water surface pro- stresses are about four times higher than the
9
Muluneh Admass TRITA LWR.LIC 2028

effective shear stresses. As the bed shear computed water surface gradient was lower
stress is the primary agent for sediment than the observed one by a factor of 0.5. This
transport, the difference in magnitude is indicated the presence of significant contri-
important. The results emphasis the need of bution of resistance from bed forms which
choosing an appropriate distribution for was in agreement with the observed three
sediment transport computations. In com- dimensional ripples in the field. Moreover,
parison with west channel, the shear stresses the bottom shear stress was highly sensitive
are higher in the east channel as well as in the to the change in roughness height than the
deep main channel that conveys a larger water surface as discussed in the sensitivity
portion of the flow into the east channel. The analysis section. Realistic representation of
lower shear stress regions correspond to the roughness is needed as the bottom shear
area with little sediment transport activities. stress is the main parameter which drives
sediment transport. Two problems appeared
Sediment transport when taking the bed form roughness in to
The general pattern of bed changes after 2- account. The first problem was related to the
hours is shown in Figure 11. The figure higher shear velocities and the sigma levels.
shows the contour lines expressed in the Locating the last sigma layer in the logarith-
units of millimeter (erosion in negative sign). mic region was not possible due to high bed
The main features are the formation of a shear velocity and high flow depth variation.
sandbank at the entrance to the east channel The high bed shear velocity required the
and the division of the main channel into two depth to the first grid off the surface to be
regions of erosion and deposition. The model very small for the shear Reynolds number to
predicted the classical erosion patterns ob- satisfy the validity range. Due to the sigma
served in the river bends. The maximum transformation the depth of the last sigma
erosion depth was -46.7 mm, which occurred layer is directly proportional to the total
in the east channel near the concave curve. A depth of the flow. Locating the last grid in
similar trend was found in the west channel the logarithmic range in deep areas produced
bend although the maximum erosion was -20 a situation where the last grid is below the
mm. The high values correspond to the re- roughness height in shallow areas. Hence, the
gions of high effective bed shear stresses. depth in the shallow areas needed to be set to
Figures 12(a-d) compare the predict bed level a certain depth so that the last grid stays
changes at 3 representative river cross sec- above the roughness height everywhere in
tions. For the ease of comparison the verti- the computational domain. As the number of
cal scale corresponding to the model values vertical grids were increased to obtain a nu-
are exaggerated. The division of river into merically error free grid (checking grid inde-
distinct regions of deposition and erosion are pendence) the minimum depth to be set
well illustrated by these figures. needed higher values which resulted in exces-
sive modification of the topography. High
DISCUSSION roughness values which produced unrealistic
shear stress distribution were required to
Flow field: The direct application of the
compensate for the lowering of the river bed.
ECOMSED model with no modifications
The remedy to the first problem was to use
caused a number of difficulties that produced
the wake law which is applicable for the
unrealistic results both in comparison with
whole depth and to set a certain minimum
field data and observations and the physics of
depth which will not affect the bed topogra-
the flow. It was not possible to calibrate the
phy so that the last grid will be above the
model with a constant roughness value to
roughness height in the whole computational
produce the measured flow division and the
domain. The second problem was related to
right water surface profile. The right water
the spatial distribution of roughness due to
division was produced by modifying the
bed forms. Specification of bed form rough-
model to allow specification of spatially vari-
ness in the whole computational domain
able grain roughness. However, the average

10
3-D Numerical modeling of flow and sediment transport in rivers

resulted in higher shear stresses in shallow total shear stress was used. For the bed evo-
areas. This needed delineation of areas where lution, using the non-equilibrium bed load
the bed form is contributing to the roughness transport in the sediment mass balance equa-
and where the bed form is not contributing tion produced a smooth solution than di-
to the roughness. The observed average rectly using the bed load transport computed
water surface gradient and critical shear ve- with empirical formulas which assume local
locity for the average bed grain size was used equilibrium.
to determine the ‘critical’ depth above which
the ripples are contributing to the total CONCLUSION
roughness. By doing so, a discontinuity in The study has led to a number of improve-
roughness distribution was introduced. A ments that should increase the applicability of
polynomial function was fitted to the rough- ECOMSED model to rivers. These are
ness distribution in the neighboring cells
around the ‘critical’ flow depth to smooth the • Treatment of river roughness param-
discontinuity. This procedure gave a realistic eterization.
bed shear stress distribution. • Bed form effects on the spatial and
Secondary flows: The secondary flows in the temporal roughness distribution
river cross-sections consisted of multiple • Bed shear stress partitioning.
counter-rotating spiral motions (Figures 7a- • Addition of bed load transport
c). The spiral motions (helical cells) are model.
shown by circles with rotation direction • Automatic update of bed evolution.
indicated by arrow. The number of cells The improved model was successfully ap-
increases as the river bifurcation region is plied to simulate flow and sediment transport
approached. The increase is partly due to the in the 1-km long reach of the River
anisotropic distribution of wall shear stresses Klarälven. The model reproduced secondary
and the unequal approach velocity. In com- flows at different locations in the river bank,
parison with the other regions of the flow, at the bifurcation and around the bends. The
the bifurcation sections had a greater spatial study also confirmed the existence of multi-
variation implying an increase in secondary ply helical motions in the river. The erosion -
flow cells. The general patterns agree with sedimentation patterns simulated were also
Dargahi’s (2004) finding, although he reports realistic. The model predicted the growth of a
a higher number of cells especially in the large sandbank at the river bifurcation and at
river bends. The difference between the the entrance to the east river channel. With
present results and his results can be ex- time, the predicted sandbank can cause a
plained partly by a higher grid resolution, and serious flood problem in combination with
partly by his use of different turbulence high flow periods.
model. The improved ECOMSED model is a valu-
Sediment transport: ECOMSED considers only able tool to deal with river engineering prob-
suspended sediment transport as the contri- lems. The advantages of the model are its
bution of bed load movement in large water flexibility and the possibilities for modifica-
bodies such as lakes and oceans is insignifi- tions or adding new models. The use of
cant. However, the bed load contribution can ECOMSED model can eliminate the need of
be considerable in the case of rivers. The bed expensive CFD commercial codes that have
load concentration in this study exceeded the two main disadvantages. Firstly, they are not
suspended load concentration by a factor of primary developed for rivers, and secondly a
10. The importance of shear partitioning can “black box” approach does not make their
also be seen from the figures 9 and 10. As effective use possible.
shown in figure 9 the total shear stress ex-
ceeds the effective shear stress by a factor of
4 times in some areas. As a result the erosion
deposition pattern was exaggerated when the
11
Muluneh Admass TRITA LWR.LIC 2028

I=1

Inlet I = 38 I = 128
East
I = 82
I = 76 I = 112

y
West

x
Figure 1. Model boundary, river bed elevation and horizontal orthogonal curvilinear grids
(x, y and legend in meters).

Figure 2. Simulated velocity vectors and observed tracer path lines used for model valida-
tion (x, y in meters).

12
3-D Numerical modeling of flow and sediment transport in rivers

Figure 3. Simulated water surface profile showing a local increase at the bifurcation due to
stagnation, and superelevations at the bends (x, y in meters).

0.5 m/s
y

Figure 4. Surface velocity vectors at bifurcation showing no recirculation but showing flow
convergence (x, y in meters).

13
Muluneh Admass TRITA LWR.LIC 2028

0.5 m/s
y

x
Figure 5. Velocity vectors at bifurcation (at the fourth sigma layer from the surface). Sec-
ondary flows appeared at this level (x, y in meters).

0.5 m/s
y

Figure 6. Velocity vectors at the bifurcation (at the river bed). The intensity of secondary
flows increased from the fourth sigma layer to the bottom (x, y in meters).

14
3-D Numerical modeling of flow and sediment transport in rivers

1 m/s 1 m/s

x
a) Section 38

1 m/s

x
b) Section 76

15
Muluneh Admass TRITA LWR.LIC 2028

1 m/s

x c) Section 82

1 m/s

x
d) Section 112

Figure 7. Vertical secondary flows showing velocity vectors, velocity contours (m/s) and
interpolated vortices at section 38, 76, 82 and 112 (x, y in meters).

16
3-D Numerical modeling of flow and sediment transport in rivers

a) Layer 1 (Surface layer)

x
b) Layer 2

17
Muluneh Admass TRITA LWR.LIC 2028

c) Layer 3

d) Layer 4

18
3-D Numerical modeling of flow and sediment transport in rivers

e) Layer 5

f) Layer 6

19
Muluneh Admass TRITA LWR.LIC 2028

g) Layer 7

x
h) Layer 8

Figure 8. Velocity contours in m/s for different layers showing the vertical variation of the
horizontal velocity in the whole computational domain.

20
3-D Numerical modeling of flow and sediment transport in rivers

Figure 9. Total shear stress distribution in N/m2 (x, y in meters).

x
Figure 10. Effective shear stress distribution in N/m2 (x, y in meters).

21
Muluneh Admass TRITA LWR.LIC 2028

x
Figure 11. Predicted bed level changes after 2 hours in mm (-ve shows erosion while
+ indicates the contour line for which the value is specified. x, y in meters).

x
a) Section 38

x
b) Section 76

22
3-D Numerical modeling of flow and sediment transport in rivers

x
c) Section 82

x
d) Section 112

Figure 12. Predicted bed level changes at section 38, 76, 82 and 112 after 2 hours simula-
tion (x, y in meters, the predicted values are exaggerated, Original bed level, Pre-
dicted bed level).

23
Muluneh Admass TRITA LWR.LIC 2028

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25