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Numerical Simulation of Channel Flows Image 4
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Numerical Simulation of Channel Flows (Image 4)

July 1, 2010
Numerical Simulation of Channel Flows (Image 4) Comparison between post-flood aerial photograph, conceptual model, and numerical simulation of the January 1997 flood on lower Deer Creek, near Vina, Calif. The post-flood aerial photograph (left) shows sediment deposited along flow pathways and gives an indication of flow direction and inundation area. A conceptual model (center) was developed by the California Department of Water Resources (DWR) based on post-flood surveys and landowner interviews. UnTRIM model predictions of water depth and flow magnitudes during maximum floodplain inundation (right) show good agreement with the post-flood aerial and DWR conceptual model, and provide quantified information about floodplain flows during the January 1997 flood. Arrows on the model predictions show surface velocity vectors for a subset of the computational cells. [Image 4 of 4 related images. Back to Image 1.] More about this Image Researchers Gang Zhao, Peter Ioannidis and Robert Street from the Environmental Fluid Mechanics Laboratory in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Stanford University, used a three-dimensional numerical model--which, simply speaking, is a computer program--to study the hydrodynamics of complex channel flows. Understanding how water flows in channels is important for engineering projects, such as flood control, channel bank erosion control, and habitats restoration. The purpose of this study was to develop a numerical model and apply it to simulate complex channel flows. To learn more about the model, visit the SUNTAN (Stanford Unstructured Nonhydrostatic Terrain-following Adaptive Navier-Stokes Simulator) Web site. The research team simulated the tidal currents in Elkhorn Slough, which is about 10 kilometers long and consists of a meandering main channel and a large area of mudflat and marsh. Elkhorn Slough has the second largest tidal salt marsh in California, which provides habitat for many plants and animals. However, the size of the salt marsh at Elkhorn Slough is decreasing due in part to tidal erosion. This simulation provides high-resolution velocity distribution inside the slough, which is a key step in understanding the hydrodynamics of the slough, and is important for future habitat conservation and restoration projects. [This research was supported in part by National Science Foundation (NSF) grant EAR 00-87842. Computations were performed at Stanford University's Center for Computational Earth and Environmental Science. SUNTAN is sponsored in part by NSF grant 0113111.] (Date of Image: 2005)