Simulation-based optimization of in-stream structures design: rock vanes

A. Khosronejad, J. L. Kozarek, P. Diplas, C. Hill, R. Jha, P. Chatanantavet, N. Heydari, F. Sotiropoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


We employ a three-dimensional coupled hydro-morphodynamic model, the Virtual Flow Simulator (VFS-Geophysics) in its Unsteady Reynolds Averaged Navier–Stokes mode closed with k- ω model, to simulate the turbulent flow and sediment transport in large-scale sand and gravel bed waterways under prototype and live-bed conditions. The simulation results are used to carry out systematic numerical experiments to develop design guidelines for rock vane structures. The numerical model is based on the Curvilinear Immersed Boundary approach to simulate flow and sediment transport processes in arbitrarily complex rivers with embedded rock structures. Three validation test cases are conducted to examine the capability of the model in capturing turbulent flow and sediment transport in channels with mobile-bed. Transport of sediment materials is handled using the Exner equation coupled with a transport equation for suspended load. Two representative meandering rivers, with gravel and sand beds, respectively, are selected to serve as the virtual test-bed for developing design guidelines for rock vane structures. The characteristics of these rivers are selected based on available field data. Initially guided by existing design guidelines, we consider numerous arrangements of rock vane structures computationally to identify optimal structure design and placement characteristics for a given river system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)695-738
Number of pages44
JournalEnvironmental Fluid Mechanics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements This work was supported by National Cooperative Highway Research Program Grants NCHRP-HR 2433 and 2436. The computational resources were partly provided by the Center for Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology (CEWIT) of the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the Stony Brook University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature.


  • Bed-morphodynamics
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Rock vane


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