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Title: Modelling sediment transportation and overland flow
Author: Zhong, Yiming
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2013
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The erosion and transport of fertile topsoil is a serious problem in the U.S., Australia, China and throughout Europe. It results in extensive environmental damage, reduces soil fertility and productivity, and causes significant environmental loss. It is as big a threat to the future sustainability of global populations as climate change, but receives far less attention. With both chemicals (fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides) and biological pathogens (bacteria, viruses) preferentially sorbing to silt and clay sized soil particles, estimating contaminant fluxes in eroded soil also requires predicting the transported soils particle size distribution. The Hairsine-Rose (HR) erosion model is considered in this thesis as it is one of the very few that is specifically designed to incorporate the effect of particle size distribution, and differentiates between non-cohesive previously eroded soil compared with cohesive un-eroded soil. This thesis develops a new extended erosion model that couples the HR approach with the one-dimensional St Venant equations, and an Exner bed evolution equation to allow for feedback effects from changes in the local bed slope on surface hydraulics and erosion rates to be included. The resulting system of 2I +3 (where I = number of particle size classes) nonlinear hyperbolic partial differential equations is then solved numerically using a Liska-Wendroff predictor corrector finite difference scheme. Approximate analytical solutions and series expansions are derived to overcome singularities in the numerical solutions arising from either boundary or initial conditions corresponding to a zero flow depth. Three separate practical applications of the extended HR model are then considered in this thesis, (i) flow through vegetative buffer strips, (ii) modelling discharge hysteresis loops and (iii) the growth of antidunes, transportational cyclic steps and travelling wave solutions. It is shown by comparison against published experimental flume data that predictions from the extended model are able to closely match measurements of deposited sediment distribution both upstream and within the vegetative buffer strip. The experiments were conducted with supercritical inflow to the flume which due to the increased drag from the vegetative strip, resulted in a hydraulic jump just upstream of the vegetation. As suspended sediment deposited at the jump, this resulted in the jump slowly migrating upstream. The numerical solutions were also able to predict the position and hydraulic jump and the flow depth throughout the flume, including within the vegetative strip, very well. In the second application, it is found that the extended HR model is the first one that can produce all known types of measured hysteresis loops in sediment discharge outlet data. Five main loop types occur (a) clockwise, (b) counter-clockwise, (c,d) figure 8 of both flow orientations and (e) single curve. It is clearly shown that complicated temporal rainfall patterns or bed geometry are not required to developed complicated hysteresis loops, but it is the spatial distribution of previously eroded sediment that remains for the start of a new erosion event, which primarily governs the form of the hysteresis loop. The role of the evolution of the sediment distribution in the deposited layer therefore controls loop shape and behavior. Erosion models that are based solely on suspended sediment are therefore unable to reproduce these hysteretic loops without a priori imposing a hysteretic relationship on the parameterisations of the erosion source terms. The rather surprising result that the loop shape is also dominated by the suspended concentration of the smallest particle size is shown and discussed. In the third application, a linear stability analysis shows that instabilities, antidunes, will grow and propagate upstream under supercritical flow conditions. Numerical simulations are carried out that confirm the stability analysis and show the development and movement of antidunes. For various initial parameter configurations a series of travelling antidunes, or transportational cyclic steps, separated by hydraulic jumps are shown to develop and evolve to a steady form and wave speed. Two different forms arise whereby (a) the deposited layer completely shields the underlying original cohesive soil so that the cohesive layer plays no role in the speed or shape of the wave profile or (b) the cohesive soil is exposed along the back of the wave such that both the non-cohesive and cohesive layers affect the wave profile. Under (a) the solutions are obtained up to an additive constant as the actual location of the boundary of the cohesive soil is not required, whereas for (b) this constant must be determined in order to find the location on the antidune from where the cohesive soil becomes accessible. For single size class soils the leading order travelling wave equations are fairly straightforward to obtain for both cases (a) and (b). However for multi-size class soils, this becomes much more demanding as up to 2I + 3 parameters must be found iteratively to define the solution as each size class has its own wave profile in suspension and in the antidune.
Supervisor: Sander, Graham Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Geophysics (mathematics) ; Fluid mechanics (mathematics) ; Partial differential equations ; Mathematical modeling (engineering) ; soil erosion model ; sediment transportation ; overland flow ; buffer strip ; hysteresis loop ; antidune