Flow characteristics and sediment transport in vegetated compound channels
The project is to examine the effect of vegetations on the open channel/river flow and sediment transport. It is well known that plants can reduce flow velocity, and thus sediment transport by creating additional flow resistance, leading to the increase of the river flooding. However, it is not clear how the plants interact with flow due to the complexity of the problem.
Though some empirical formulas and conceptual models have been developed to investigate the flow and sediment transport in vegetated channels/rivers, these formulas have their limitations of application as they were derived for some particular cases. Therefore, this project aims to develop a more robust method/approach to investigate the flow-vegetation interaction. In the flow-vegetation interaction, the patterns of vegetations play an important role and we will focus on investigating the effect of line vegetations which is one of the most promising scenarios encountered in natural rivers. For such complex problem, the ideal approach is to combine numerical simulation and laboratory experiments.
As such, we will collaborate with colleagues at Sichuan University who will run systematic physical model experiments while we will perform the numerical simulations. The numerical models will be developed based on previous work to reproduce the cases conducted in experiments. Detailed simulated results will be compared with the measurements and used to analyse the effect of the vegetation on the flow velocity distribution and Reynolds stress distribution as well as the sediment transport.