Simulation of flow and mass dispersion in meandering channels

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91 Scopus citations


This paper reports the development of an enhanced two-dimensional (2D) numerical model for the simulation of flow hydrodynamics and mass transport in meandering channels. The hydrodynamic model is based on the solution of the depth-averaged flow continuity and momentum equations where the density of flow varies with the concentration of transported mass. The governing equation for mass transport model is the depth-averaged convection and diffusion equation. The dispersion terms arisen from the integration of the product of the discrepancy between the mean and the actual vertical velocity distribution were included in the momentum equations to take into account the effect of secondary current. Two laboratory experimental cases, flow in mildly and sharply curved channels, were selected to test the hydrodynamic model. The comparison of the simulated velocity and water surface elevation with the measurements indicated that the inclusion of the dispersion terms has improved the simulation results. A laboratory experiment study of dye spreading in a sine-generated channel, in which dye was released at the inner bank, centerline, and outer bank, respectively, was chosen to verify the mass transport model. The simulated concentration field indicated that the Schmidt number can be used as a calibration parameter when dispersion is computed using a 2D approach with a simplified turbulence model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)964-976
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Hydraulic Engineering
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2004


  • Flow simulation
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Mass transport
  • Meandering streams
  • Numerical models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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