3D numerical modeling of flow and sediment transport in laboratory channel bends

A. Khosronejad, C. D. Rennie, S. A.A. Salehi Neyshabouri, R. D. Townsend

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


The development of a fully three-dimensional finite volume morphodynamic model, for simulating fluid and sediment transport in curved open channels with rigid walls, is described. For flow field simulation, the Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes equations are solved numerically, without reliance on the assumption of hydrostatic pressure distribution, in a curvilinear nonorthogonal coordinate system. Turbulence closure is provided by either a low-Reynolds number k-ω turbulence model or the standard k-ε turbulence model, both of which apply a Boussinesq eddy viscosity. The sediment concentration distribution is obtained using the convection-diffusion equation and the sediment continuity equation is applied to calculate channel bed evolution, based on consideration of both bed load and suspended sediment load. The governing equations are solved in a collocated grid system. Experimental data obtained from a laboratory study of flow in an S-shaped channel are utilized to check the accuracy of the model's hydrodynamic computations. Also, data from a different laboratory study, of equilibrium bed morphology associated with flow through 90° and 135° channel bends, are used to validate the model's simulated bed evolution. The numerically-modeled fluid and sediment transportation show generally good agreement with the measured data. The calculated results with both turbulence models show that the low-Reynolds k-ω model better predicts flow and sediment transport through channel bends than the standard k-ε model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1123-1134
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Hydraulic Engineering
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2007


  • Channel bends
  • Numerical models
  • Scour
  • Secondary flow
  • Three-dimensional models
  • Turbulence


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