Macroturbulent structure of open-channel flow over gravel beds


  • Audrey B. Shvidchenko,

  • Gareth Pender


The turbulent structure of open-channel flow over a mobile gravel bed was investigated in an 8 m long, 0.3 m wide, and 0.3 m deep tilting flume. A flow visualization technique was used and complemented by measurements of flow velocity fluctuations near the bed. The experiments reveal that turbulent flow consists of a sequence of large-scale eddies with a vertical size close to the flow depth, an average length equal to four to five depths, and a width of about two depths. The downstream motion of these eddies causes quasiperiodic fluctuations of the local flow velocity components. The development of longitudinal troughs and ridges on the mobile bed and preferential transport of bed particles along troughs are related to the effect of the eddies. The experimental results indicate that the depth-scale eddies are an important turbulence mechanism contributing to sediment transport.