Three-Dimensional Numerical Modeling of Local Scour: A State-of-the-Art Review and Perspective

Yong G. Lai, Xiaofeng Liu, Fabián A. Bombardelli, Yalan Song

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


This article aims to provide a comprehensive appraisal on the current status of three-dimensional (3D) numerical modeling of local scour around instream hydraulic structures. Many computer models have been developed or are in development to simulate riverbed morphology. Local scour, however, is a special category that requires in general a 3D model based on some averaged/filtered form of the Navier-Stokes (NS) equations and a 3D sediment transport model. Only limited number of 3D scour codes are available for practical usage; there is also a lack of literature on the limitations of the models in capturing the scour-producing flow and the sediment transport solvers embedded within. For 3D local scour modeling, the main intrinsic uncertainty lies primarily in the sediment part. In this article, the basic theory and the state of the art of current 3D local scour models are reviewed, focusing primarily on the sediment solver, and future research needs are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number03122002
JournalJournal of Hydraulic Engineering
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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