Numerical modelling of jet-forced circulation in reservoirs using boundary-fitted coordinate systems
Throughout the past decade, interest has grown in the use of boundary-fitted coordinate systems in many areas of computational fluid dynamics. The boundary-fitted technique provides an exact method of implementing finite-difference numerical schemes in curved flow geometries and offers an alternative solution procedure to the finite-element method. The unavoidable large bandwidth of the global stiffness matrix, employed in finite-element algorithms, means that they are computationally less efficient than corresponding finite-difference schemes. As a consequence, the boundary-fitted method offers a more efficient process for solving partial differential flow equations in awkwardly shaped regions. This thesis describes a versatile finite-difference numerical scheme for the solution of the shallow water equations on arbitrary boundary-fitted non-orthogonal curvilinear grids. The model is capable of simulating flows in irregular geometries typically encountered in river basin management. Validation tests have been conducted against the severe condition of jet-forced flow in a circular reservoir with vertical side walls, where initial reflections of free surface waves pose major problems in achieving a stable solution. Furthermore, the validation exercises have been designed to test the computer model for artificial diffusion which may be a consequence of the numerical scheme adopted to stabilise the shallow water equations. The thesis also describes two subsidiary numerical studies of jet-forced recirculating flow in circular cylinders. The first of these implements a Biot-Savart discrete vortex method for simulating the vorticity in the shear layers of the inflow jet, whereas the second employs a stream function/vorticity-transport finite-difference procedure for solving the two-dimensional Navier-Stokes equations on a distorted orthogonal polar mesh. Although the predictions from the stream function/vorticity-transport model are confined to low Reynolds number flows, they provide a valuable set of benchmark velocity fields which are used to confirm the validity of the boundary-fitted shallow water equation solver.