American Society of Civil Engineers

Depth-Averaged Two Dimensional Model Using Cartesian Cut-Cell Approach

by Jennifer G. Duan, (Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, University of Arizona) and Chunshui Yu, (Department of Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona)
Section: Hydraulics and Waterways, pp. 2022-2030, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2011: Bearing Knowledge for Sustainability
Abstract: A two-dimensional numerical model was developed for simulating free surface flow. The model is based on the solutions of two-dimensional depth averaged Navier-Stokes equations. A finite volume method is applied such that mass conservation is satisfied both locally and globally. The model adopted the two-step, high resolution MUSCL-Hancock scheme. This Godunov type scheme is used together with the approximate Riemann solver. The boundary cells are treated as cut-cells in order to accommodate arbitrarily geometries of natural rivers. An automatic wet-cell cutting algorithm is incorporated into the model so that the wet areas cut out of the mesh have cut-cells representing their boundaries. There are sixteen types of cut-cells depending on the slope of the boundary intersection with the cell. A cell merging technique is incorporated in the model that combines small cells with neighboring cells to create a larger cell that helps satisfying the CFL condition. The cut-cells approach permits a fully boundary-fitted mesh without implementing a complex mesh generation procedure for irregular geometries. The model is verified by several laboratory experiments including unsteady flow passing through cylindrical piers and dam break flow in a rectangular channel.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Two-dimensional models
Numerical models