A 2D hydrodynamic-sedimentological model for gravel-bed rivers. Part I: theory and validation

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Gabriel Kaless *
Mario A. Lenzi
Luca Mao
(*) Corresponding Author:
Gabriel Kaless | gabriel.kaless@unipd.it

Abstract

This paper presents a novel 2D-depth average model especially developed for gravel-bed rivers, named Lican-Leufú (Lican=pebble and Leufu=river, in Mapuche’s language, the native inhabitants of Central Patagonia, Argentina). The model consists of three components: a hydrodynamic, a sedimentological, and a morphological model. The flow of water is described by the depth-averaged Reynolds equations for unsteady, free-surface, shallow water flows. It includes the standard k-e model for turbulence closure. Sediment transport can be divided in different size classes (sand-gravel mixture) and the equilibrium approach is used for Exner’s equation. The amour layer is also included in the structure of the model and the surface grain size distribution is also allowed to evolve. The model simulates bank slides that enable channel widening. Models predictions were tested against a flume experiment where a static armour layer was developed under conditions of sediment starvations and general good agreements were found: the model predicted adequately the sediment transport, grain size of transported material, final armour grain size distribution and bed elevation.

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