Numerical modelling of river rehabilitation schemes

Swindale, Neil (1999) Numerical modelling of river rehabilitation schemes. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis is based on the application of hydraulic modelling techniques to the study of river rehabilitation schemes. River channelization and rehabilitation techniques are reviewed and the restoration of the River Idle is detailed. The rehabilitation of the Idle, consisting principally of the installation of a number of flow deflectors, forms the basis of the modelling work carried out.

Open channel modelling techniques are reviewed and the packages ISIS, HEC-RAS, SSIIM and CFX are applied to the River Idle. Results from SSIIM (two dimensional) and CFX (three dimensional) are validated against site measured velocities. SSIIM predicted velocities calibrate poorly against site data whilst CFX results are considerably more encouraging. Reasons for the increased accuracy of the three dimensional results are discussed.

The effect of the installation of the flow deflectors on aquatic habitat is simulated using the techniques underlying the Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM). The results from the one dimensional model ISIS and the three dimensional package CFX are used to make available habitat predictions. Results indicate an improvement in habitat for adult and spawning chub but a worsening of habitat for roach fry. However, habitat for roach fry can be expected to improve with time as the geomorphology of the river responds to the installation of the deflectors.

The results from the habitat modelling exercise also indicate significant discrepancies between the results obtained by applying the one and three dimensional models. Greater improvements in habitat are indicated in the results from the three dimensional modelling approach. This can be attributed to a number of factors but most significantly the fact that the three dimensional model, in solving two further momentum balance equations, accurately simulates a plume of higher velocity which is produced by the narrowing of the channel width at the deflector. This plume of higher velocity is propagated downstream for some distance beyond the deflector and is associated with improved habitat suitability in the case of adult and spawning chub.

The effect of the deflectors on the movement of sediments in the Idle is simulated using ISIS Sediment, a module of the ISIS package, and SHEAR. SHEAR is a FORTRAN program, written for this thesis, which calculates bed shear stresses from the vertical velocity distribution predicted by CFX. The predicted bed shear stresses are compared with a critical shear stress for erosion which is calculated from the Shields criteria. Deposition areas can be implied from zones of reduced bed shear stress. Thus, SHEAR is able to describe the spatial detail of erosion and deposition, for any given sediment particle size, at a specific discharge. Results from ISIS Sediment and SHEAR are compared qualitatively with site measurements of bed erosion that has taken place at a single deflector site. Results indicate that the programs have successfully reproduced the major features of the movement of sediments observed on site. These consist of the erosion of a scour pool adjacent to the deflector tip and deposition in the lee of the deflector leading to the development of a bank of sediment.

Overall, significant benefits are indicated in a three dimensional approach over the more traditional one dimensional models. These are evident in both improved calibration with site measured velocities, better available habitat prediction and the ability to describe the spatial detail of erosion and deposition.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Wright, N.
Keywords: River restoration, River channels, Hydraulic modelling, Three dimensional modelling
Subjects: T Technology > TC Hydraulic engineering. Ocean engineering
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Department of Civil Engineering
Item ID: 29108
Depositing User: Blore, Mrs Kathryn
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2015 09:26
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 15:13

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