Three-dimensional flow modelling and sediment transport in the River Klarälven


  • Bijan Dargahi

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Hydraulic Engineering, The Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden
    • Division of Hydraulic Engineering, The Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.
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A three-dimensional flow model that uses the RNG k-ε turbulence model and a non-equilibrium wall function was applied to the River Klarälven in the southwest part of Sweden. The objectives were to study the nature of the flow in the river bifurcation and to investigate the short-term sediment transport patterns in the river. The effectiveness of three-dimensional flow models depends upon: (1) how well the river geometry and it surface roughness are modelled; and (2) the choice of the closure model. Improvements were obtained by modelling the river in two parts: the entire river reach, and a selected part. Composite Manning coefficients were used to account for roughness properties. The method requires a calibration process that ensures the water surface profiles match the field data. The k-ε model under-predicted both the extent of flow separation zones and the number of secondary flow regions having a spiral motion, in comparison with the RNG k-ε model. The 3-D model could predict with good accuracy both the general and secondary flow fields in the river. The results agreed well with the 3-D velocity measurements using an acoustic Doppler current profiler. A conceptual model was developed that accounts for the development of secondary flows in a river bifurcation having two bends. The main flow feature in the river cross-sections was the existence of multiple counter-rotating spiral motions. The number of spiral motions increased as the river bends were approached. The river bends also caused vorticity intensification and increased the vertical velocities. The application of the 3-D flow model was extended by solving the sediment continuity equation. The sediment transport patterns were related to the secondary flow fields in the river. The sediment transport patterns at the river bifurcations are characterized by the growth of a sandbank. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.