On the turbulent flow structure around an instream structure with realistic geometry

Seokkoo Kang, Craig Hill, Fotis Sotiropoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


We investigate the flow dynamics around a rock vane, a widely used instream structure for stream restoration, by conducting laboratory flume experiments, and carrying out high-resolution Large Eddy Simulation (LES) taking advantage of parallel computing. The flume experiments are conducted under fixed- and mobile-bed conditions, where the velocities and bed elevations are measured, respectively. The LES is carried out for the fixed-bed experiment by directly resolving the details of the rocks that constitute the vane and the individual roughness elements on the channel bed. The LES-computed mean flow statistics show good agreement with the measurements, and the analysis of the computed flow field reveals the existence of two counter-rotating secondary flow cells downstream of the vane, which originate from the plunging of the three-dimensional streamlines onto a lower part of the sidewall downstream of the vane. To further examine the role of the secondary flow cells under a mobile-bed condition, the LES results are compared with the equilibrium bed elevation measured in the mobile bed experiment. The mobile-bed experiment reveals the existence of an oblique sand ridge downstream of the vane that is aligned with the line of flow convergence caused by the collision of the two secondary flow cells. The results indicate that the two counter-rotating cells downstream of the rock vane has a profound impact on the mean flow and bed shear stress as well as on the bed morphodynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7869-7891
Number of pages23
JournalWater Resources Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.


  • stream restoration
  • turbulence


Dive into the research topics of 'On the turbulent flow structure around an instream structure with realistic geometry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this