Cellular-Automata for Hydrodynamic Modeling

by Robert N. Eli, West Virginia Univ, Morgantown, WV, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Hydraulic Engineering


A two-dimensional fluid continuum system can be modeled using a discrete field of particles that interact according to simple deterministic rules. The methodology is called Cellular Automata. The particles move in discrete space and time increments on a triangular lattice according to a limited number of nearest neighbor interaction rules. Interaction of the fluid particles occurs at the lattice nodes and conserves mass and momentum. The scheme can be shown to lead to the two-dimensional Navier-Stokes equations. A 150 by 300 node lattice is used to perform experiments of flow past a rectangular plate placed normal to the flow direction. The pressure distribution along the lateral boundaries is computed from change in particle momentum. A time series record of velocity at a fixed point in the wake illustrates a qualitative similarity to the unsteady flow observed during physical experiments.

Subject Headings: Hydrologic models | Hydrodynamics | Two-dimensional models | Fluid flow | Lattices | Navier-Stokes equations | Computer models | Particles

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