Sediment Scour and Deposition: Eroded Relations
Sediment scour and deposition is an important consideration for the design of dams, reservoirs, piping systems, settling pond, and flood control devices to name but a few applications. Erosion around these types of submerged structures can cause significant damage and be a safety hazard. Flow Science has actively worked with industry and research organizations to develop the capability to model with FLOW-3D the behavior of packed and suspended sediment within a three-dimensional computational domain.
The scour model in FLOW-3D was originally developed as part of a project funded by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to validate its vacuum flushing device, EPAFLUSH® for removing settled solids from sewer devices to minimize pollution. The scour model predicts the behavior of packed and suspended sediment and consists of two parts: drifting and settling (of sediment suspended in flow) and lifting (from shear stresses of liquid on a packed bed surface).
Since its release in late 2000, the scour model is being used in a number of applications in hydraulics and environmental engineering, as well as in certain areas of consumer products design.
For example, at Ohio State University's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Geodetic Science, Dr. Diane Foster and graduate research assistant Heather Smith are using FLOW-3D's scour model to study three-dimensional flow around and scour of partially-buried and unburied mines in coastal waters. The sediment transport and scour around mines is being simulated for both wave and current dominated conditions. The predicted flow, sediment transport and bed scour model is being verified with laboratory and field observations obtained by collaborators at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), the Naval Research Lab and and University of South Florida. Dr. Foster's work is ongoing, but early results are encouraging, and that's good news for people all over the world who live in close relation to eroding coastal areas.