CSDMS 2013 annual meeting poster Mark Schmeeckle
Turbulence- and particle-resolving numerical modeling of sediment transport
The motion of sediment in water is caused by fluid pressure gradient forces, primarily drag, on sediment grains. Turbulence-resolving experiments show significant temporal and spatial variability of fluid and sediment motion and particle forces at all stages of sediment transport. The signature of turbulence structures and their modification by sediment is apparent from incipient motion to vigorous suspension.
This presentation introduces a numerical model that combines large eddy simulation (LES) of turbulence and the distinct element method (DEM) of granular motion. The LES and DEM models are fully coupled in momentum. Information from the LES is used to specify forces on the DEM particles, and those particle forces are given in an equal and opposite direction in the filtered and discretized Navier-Stokes equations at each grid cell in the finite volume LES. Parameterization of turbulent sediment transport processes is the basis of any well founded model of morphodynamics in fluvial and marine environments. Current parameterizations rely on a mixture of theory and empirical evidence. LES-DEM simulations can be performed in conditions that are difficult to reproduce in the laboratory and that stretch the limits of theory. It is hard to build an apparatus that can produce sediment transport under field-scale cnoidal waves, on sloping beds, with currents of arbitrary direction, and a range grain size distributions. Further, even in simple unidirectional flows only rough empirical relations exist for the critically important suspended sediment rate of entrainment.
Validation of the LES-DEM approach is essential before development of transport relations for large-scale morphodynamic models. A series of LES-DEM simulations of unidirectional flow over flat beds of medium sand, ranging from no transport, to bedload, to vigorous suspension are presented. Simulations of flat sand beds under oscillatory waves and unidirectional flow downstream of a backward-facing step are compared to laboratory measurements. Simulations over ripples and through vegetation are also presented.
Examples of some of the simulations can be previewed at the links below.
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