Numerical Analysis of Flow in Sedimentation Basins

by David R. Schamber, (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Prof.; Civ. Engrg. Dept., Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112,
Bruce E. Larock, (M.ASCE), Prof.; Civ. Engrg. Dept., Univ. of California, Davis, Calif.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Hydraulics Division, 1981, Vol. 107, Issue 5, Pg. 575-591

Document Type: Journal Paper


The equations governing two-dimensional, steady flow in circular and rectangular primary settling basins are formulated. Mean-flow equations expressing conservation of mass and momentum are combined with a two-equation turbulence model (k-ϵ model) to compute velocity fields in sedimentation basins. The turbulence is characterized by a turbulent kinematic eddy viscosity which is computed directly as part of the solution. A numerical solution to the mathematical model is formulated by application of the Galerkin finite element method to the equation residuals. The resulting non-linear system of equations is solved by a variation of Newton's method. The model is applied to predict the flow pattern in a rectangular settling basin. A vector plot of the basin velocity field and contour plot of the turbulent kinematic eddy viscosity are presented.

Subject Headings: Mathematical models | Hydrologic models | Numerical analysis | Sediment | Basins | Settling basins | Two-dimensional flow | Turbulence

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