A two-equation turbulence model, based on the k-ε closure scheme, was used to determine the mean flow and turbulence structure of open channels through simulated vegetation, thus providing the necessary information to estimate suspended sediment transport processes. Dimensional analysis allowed identification of the dimensionless parameters that govern suspended sediment transport in the presence of vegetation and thus helped in the design of numerical experiments to investigate the role of different flow properties, sediment characteristics, and vegetation parameters upon the transport capacity. A reduction of the averaged streamwise momentum transfer toward the bed (i.e., shear stress) induced by the vegetation was identified as the main reason for lower suspended sediment transport capacities in vegetated waterways compared to those observed in nonvegetated channels under similar flow conditions. Computed values of kinematic eddy viscosity were used to solve the sediment diffusion equation, yielding distributions of relative sediment concentration slightly in excess of the ones predicted by the Rousean formula. A power law was found to provide a very good collapse of all the numerically generated data for suspended sediment transport rates in vegetated channels.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Water Science and Technology