Modeling Circulation in Depth-Averaged Flow

by Victor M. Ponce, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; San Diego State Univ., San Diego, Calif. 92182,
Steven B. Yabusaki, Civ. Engr.; Water and Land Resources Dept., Batelle, Pacific Northwest Laboratories, Richland, Wash.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1981, Vol. 107, Issue 11, Pg. 1501-1518

Document Type: Journal Paper


The clarification of the physical mechanisms leading to the generation of circulation in free surface flow is sought by using a depth-averaged two-dimensional mathematical model. The depth-averaged two-dimensional governing equation set is used as a basis for the development of a finite difference model employing a multioperational procedure to advance the values of the dependent variables in time. Two geometric configurations are extensively tested regarding the mathematical model itself and the boundary conditions. It is found that proper modeling of the effective stresses is a necessary condition for the resolution of steady, closed-streamline circulation in depth-averaged mathematical models. In addition, a competition exists between convective inertia and bed resistance. Circulating flow is inhibited when bed resistance predominates. The type of boundary condition specification is found to have a significant effect in the resulting flow pattern.

Subject Headings: Mathematical models | Two-dimensional models | Two-dimensional flow | Boundary conditions | Effective stress | Load and resistance factor design | Flow resistance | Free flow

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