Quantification of the bed load effects on turbulent open-channel flows

Detian Liu, Xiaofeng Liu, Xudong Fu, Guangqian Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


With a computational model combining large eddy simulation and a discrete element model, detailed quantification of the bed load effects on turbulent open-channel flows is presented. The objective is the revelation of bed load particle impact on the mean flow properties and coherent structures. Two comparative numerical experiments with mobile and immobile beds are conducted. Mean properties (e.g., velocity and Reynolds stress profiles) show good agreement with experimental data. Comparing the mobile and immobile cases, the effective bed position is nearly the same, whereas the equivalent sand roughness is changed. The flow experiences higher bottom shear stress over immobile bed. To quantify impact on turbulent structures, a revised quadrant analysis is performed to calculate four key parameters of ejection and sweep events (duration, maximum shear stress, transported momentum, and period). Results show that the ejection and sweep events have comparable importance in the outer region. However, sweep becomes dominant in the near-wall region. The motion of particles enhances the sweep dominance by breaking up the ejection structures and decreasing their occurrence ratio. The results also suggest that the ejection events are easier to be influenced by the particle motions because they originate from the near-wall region. The duration, maximum shear stress, and transported momentum decrease close to the bed. The period remains relatively constant in the outer region but decreases near the bed. Visualization of the coherent structure reveals that the instantaneous particle motion has strong correlation with the bursting cycle events.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)767-789
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Geophysics


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