Hydraulics & Waterways

Oral

389584 - Development and Verification of a Three-Dimensional Model for Flow Hydrodynamic and Sediment Transport Simulation

Wednesday, June 6
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Location: Regency Room

Three-dimensional (3D) flow and sediment transport modelling is rarely carried out in hydraulic engineering. The use is limited mostly to academic research to gain physical understanding of complex flow patterns or sediment transport processes. A primary reason is that such modelling is labor intensive and demands prohibitive computing resources. Preparation of 3D meshes is a tedious process that requires the use of expensive commercial software. Execution of the model often requires access to super computers or cluster of computers unavailable to most engineers.

In this study, we report a research effort at the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation seeking the possibility of developing a 3D model for practical use. Several new techniques are adopted to achieve our objectives. First, a physical coordinate unstructured sigma mesh is adopted. Only a two-dimensional horizontal mesh is needed that may assume arbitrary polygonal shapes. The vertical mesh is automatically generated conforming to bed and free surface. Second, the arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian moving mesh formulation is used to treat both free surface and bed changes. The vertical mesh points moves adaptively according to the surface and bed changes. Third and finally, a special 3D sediment transport module is developed and coupled to the 3D flow solver. The outcome is a versatile 3D model that may be used to simulate local scours. In the paper, we will highlight the numerical methods we developed and present model test and verification results in comparison with available experimental data.

Yong G. Lai

Specialist Hydraulic Engineer
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Yong Lai obtained his engineering Ph.D. in 1990 from the Arizona State University and has since been involved in numerous research and engineering projects. At his current position at the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, he serves as a team leader and modeling expert in flow hydraulics and hydrology, sediment transport, geomorphic processes, reservoir sedimentation, watershed runoff/erosion, temperature and water quality. Dr. Lai has worked on rivers throughout the United States and internationally, and he is an expert in 2D and 3D computer model development and applications. Several of his models have been widely used such as SRH-2D and U2RANS. He is the lead author of the widely used SRH-2D model. Dr. Lai has provided short-courses on how to use SRH-2D for hydraulic and sediment transport modeling at various locations.

Prior to joining Reclamation, Dr. Lai was a senior research staff and adjunct associate professor at the IIHR – Hydroscience and Engineering, the University of Iowa, in charge of diverse projects. He has supervised more than ten graduate students in carrying out various research projects, and taught graduate-level courses. He has published more than thirty professional papers in international Journals, as well as more than fifty conference papers in diverse engineering areas.

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