Three-dimensional simulation of river flood flows
This thesis describes the implementation of general Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) techniques to laboratory and natural channels under flood flow conditions. Two commercially available codes, TELEMAC and CFX4, have been used in this work. The assessment of CFD for the calculation of flooded channel flow dynamics is carried out by simulating one laboratory test case from the Flood Channel Facility (FCF) Series B. This test case is that of a meandering two-stage channel with a depth ratio of 25% on the flood plain. Results from a computer simulation of experiment B23 are presented with a detailed quantitative comparison of the measured velocity, turbulence and bed shear stress. It supports the conclusion that CFD is able to account for the different flow mechanisms arising from the interaction between inbank and overbank flows in meandering channels. The maximum error in the prediction of the velocity is 10% and the comparisons show the calculations of bed shear stress to be reasonably accurate as well. Numerical tests indicate that the numerical solution is relatively independent of the boundary conditions, and confirm that turbulence transport is of minor importance in the experiment simulated. Numerical results from the simulation of flood flow mechanisms in natural rivers are also presented. It is hoped that these are of value to practitioners. Two 1-km reaches on the River Severn and River Ribble are modelled. They permit the investigation of two-stage channel flow dynamics at a larger scale. The numerical verification process establishes that the scale and the complex nature of the geometry are limiting factors, particularly for the numerical discretization of the domain and the calculation of the variables at the walls. It is however possible to estimate a priori part of the error such constraints generate. Away from the walls, the flow main features seem well predicted. The parallel between the velocity fields observed in river flood flows and those observed in the FCF is evident. Validation against field data suggests that the models are able to reproduce the flow mechanisms and account for bed shear stress variations correctly. Yet a significant level of uncertainty remains when the model predictions are compared against measured point data; more validation work is therefore required.