Numerical modelling of subcritical open channel flow using the K-E turbulence model and the penalty function finite

element technique
A. N. Puri and Chin Y. Kuo
Department of Civil Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, USA (Received September 1983) Institute and State University,

A numerical model has been developed that employs the penalty function finite element technique to solve the vertically averaged hydrodynamic and turbulence model equations for a water body using isoparametric elements. The full elliptic forms of the equations are solved, thereby allowing recirculating flows to be calculated. Alternative momentum dispersion and turbulence closure models are proposed and evaluated by comparing model predictions with experimental data for strongly curved subcritical open channel flow. The results of these simulations indicate that the depth-averaged two-equation k-e turbulence model yields excellent agreement with experimental observations. In addition, it appears that neither tne streamline curvature modification of the depth-averaged k-e model, nor the momentum dispersion models based on the assumption of helicoidal flow in a curved channel, yield significant improvement in the present model predictions. Overall model predictions are found to be as good as those of a more complex and restricted three-dimensional model. Key words: mathematical model, curved channel, turbulence, flow, finite element, penalty function subcritical

Colnputational hydraulics usually involves the prediction of turbulent flows, which, due to their complexity and inherent three-dimensional nature, are extremely difficult to predict theoretically. Predictions made with experimental models are certainly useful, but they often do not provide a detailed description of the flow field, lack flexibility, and are expensive and time consuming. Consequently, it is not surprising that numerical models, with their inherent flexibility and relatively low cost, are in great demand as a predictive tool in the field of hydraulics. For example, computational models have been successfully used to predict a wide range of engineering problems associated with a free surface. It is important to note that much of this success is due to the introduction of the depth-averaged equations of motion. These equations are obtained by averaging the threedimensional, time-averaged equations of motion over the water depth, thereby reducing the problem to that of

solving for two depth-averaged horizontal component velocities and water depth. However, the averaging process creates additional unknown terms, namely the bottom, wind and effective stresses, and adequate closure expressions for these terms are required. The effective stresses were defined by Kuipers and Vreugdenhil’ to consist of the depth-averaged viscous and turbulent stresses, and additional stresses which result from the depth-averaging of the nonlinear convective acceleration terms present in the original three-dimensional equations. These stresses are often called momentum dispersion terms2 In an earlier paper by Puri and Kuo,~ a free surface steady-state hydrodynamic model based upon the penalty function finite element method and utilizing a simplified one-equation turbulence closure was presented. The goal of the present study is to extend that model to include an advanced two-equation turbulence model, and also examine different momentum dispersion closure schemes. These


Appl. Math. Modelling,

1985, Vol. 9, April

0 1985 Butterworth & Co. (Publishers)


the depth-averaged turbulent Reynolds stresss tensor may be written as:2 i. is the shear or friction velocity. depth-averaged equations of Depth-averaged Reynolds stress closure of mass (1) Combining the Boussinesq eddy viscosity hypothesis with the depth-averaging procedure. n vm Xm rbm frnn In equation (6) cf and cff are empirical friction factors. ‘Sk.timm)(u. l a(&$) a(c. Kuo different closure schemes will be evaluated by comparing model predictions with experimental data for strongly curved subcritical open channel flow.h) ax. P. account for the production mechanism resulting from the presence of a vertical boundary layer. (10) For the present study. and ck and cE are empirical constants. and (3) the momentum dispersion terms. azb +T~~+ aF -!E=O ax. Math. Vol. ax. +gh ax. I ax.92. . ax. (8) a(ih) + a(zjmeh) j.nn=/ zh [v($+$)-iz dz (3) at ax. Bottom shear stress closure The bottom shear stress per unit mass may be parameterized by:2Y3$5 rbm = cf crnq (4) and ci. Using Laufer’s measured turbulent viscosity as empirical input. where: g m.h) ax. (2) the depth-averaged turbulent Reynolds stresses. E. where : li depth-averaged kinetic energy per unit mass =:a Kronecker delta depth-averaged turbulent eddy viscosity (2) acceleration due to gravity 1. 1 (7) of momentum h) tga(h212) ax. Their values. 2 and repeated indices imply a summation two-dimensional depth-averaged velocity vector (& 5) coordinate directions (x. k. Puri and C. Modelling. (9) -(urn . The source terms Pk and P. c2. Y.i$J where: 1 VV?l V zb h horizontal turbulent velocity fluctuation fluid viscosity elevation of channel bottom above an arbitrary datum water depth where: p h a(c. = c&/h (12) (13) where u. and cP are empirical constants. in terms of known or inferred quantities. Conservation a(&& ax. and obtained: Pk = cku. ok = 1 .u. and are consequently neglected. 9. A detailed description of this model and its applications may be found in the literature. and C is Chezy’s roughness coefficient. April 83 . which characterizes the local state of turbulence by two parameters: the turbulent kinetic energy per unit mass. Ratogi and Rodi obtained: 1 ck = ~ fif (14) Appl. 1985.4 may be written as: h+zb at ax. Rastogi and Rodi related these vertical production terms to the bottom shear stress.lih) c_~ The depth-averaged effective stress tensor per unit mass. and the rate of its dissipation. of: (1) the bottom shear stress.ln a(Gnh) + a(&$) = fi.O. = 1. (3. fit = cp- ft2 6 (11) Closure models The closure problem associated with the depth-averaged equations of motion requires the parameterization. adopted from Launder and SpaMing are: cr = 1.2>6-g The semiempirical transport equations for the transport of the depthaveraged quantities k and c may be given by:2?g1’o a(kh) + a(zj. cP = 0. as defined by Kuipers and Vreugdenhilr and Flokstra. it is assumed that the viscous stresses are small compared to the turbulence effects.3.09. c2 = 1.Subcritical open channel flow: N. 7) components of bottom shear stress per unit mass components of depth-averaged effective stress tensor per unit mass indicates a depth-averaged quantity 6 mn Vt The turbulence model that has found the widest application for a variety of two-dimensional flows is the socalled k-e turbulence model. +P.43. where * = ($ + fi2)1’2 Cf = g/c2 = 1ICff (5) (6) Depth-averaged model The governing steady-state motion are: l-3 Conservation a&h p=o ax.

14. are the velocities in the streamline and normal to the streamline directions respectively.v Ai.Subcritical open channel flow: N.2arfizi + CQfi’ (19) rxv=“1Li2+((Y~-(11*)~ii.13 The curvature modification of the depth-averaged k-e model was then accomplished by replacing the twodimensional quantities u. 1 + Rk. (23) (24) (25) dispersion model I Figure 7 Staggered mesh configurations velocity and turbulence grids I showing interlocking 84 Appl.h I ---4c I __ t I I --A-.k.34(/z/R) 01~= 7. = $( 1 . (21) in which rXX. The necessity for a ‘staggered’ grid stems from the need to decouple the solution of the mean flow equations from the solution of the turbulence equations.-cyl~2 ryy = a21iZ + 2arfifi + a(# (20) (27) where the subscript w denotes a near-wall value.k.g The hydrodynamic model described by Puri and Kuo3 was extended in the present study to incorporate the depth-averaged k-e turbulence model by means of a ‘staggered’ finite element mesh scheme. Leschiziner and Rodi” presented a curvature modification of the ‘standard’ k-e model. the following relations were imposed:’ %J = ff. and to assist in proper implementation of the boundary conditions. ir. simplified. k. = . v. 1985. However.CY . the gradients of all the primary unknowns normal to the outflow boundary were specified to be zero. The coefficients. he failed to present numerical values for the coefficients in his equations. Puri and C.. PYYand rX. The closure expressions derived by Flokstra4 are: I’.i. = pkk %JI~CppkklfimY2 (26) Previous attempts at formulating closure schemes for the momentum dispersion terms have been based on the assumption of a simple secondary flow field which allows the depth variation of the horizontal velocity components to be modelled by known theoretical velocity distributions. 2 were evaluated in the present study as: a0 = 0. An additional. k.16 The staggered grid structure is shown in Figure 1. for the near-wall turbulence grid nodes. This decoupling then allows the mean flow equation set and the turbulence equation set to be solved alternately rather than simultaneously. l2 they obtained the curvature modification of the coefficient cc1 as: c. are the momentum dispersion components of the (depth-averaged) effective stress tensor per unit mass. 9.+& +t.5 and 0. with control being transferred between the two sets until overall convergence is achieved.u.. For the flow cases considered in the present study. nor did he present computational results to support the general use of his model. Using a simpl’ified version of the (two-dimensional) algebr-sic stress model of Gibson. Kuo c E =pq Curvature modification (15) of k-e model Computational method Since it is well known that streamline curvature strongly influences turbulent transport in shear layers.6 Consequently.15Further details of the method and its application to depth-averaged open channel flows may be found in Puriand Kuo3and Puri. This model is here referred to as momentum dispersion model MDl. April . it is easy to show that: 0 I I I I v I l . Y. = local radius of curvature of the streamline.02 CX~ = 0. Vol.k2.z] (16) where kI= 1-P __ (Y (17) (18) k. = cweti’. 6. Implementation of the inflow boundary conditions on the velocity field was achieved by assigning uniform inflow velocities from the known system discharge rate. Momentum dispersion closure The computational method employed to obtain approximate numerical solutions of the depth-averaged model equations is the penalty function finite element technique described by Reddy. model for the momentum dispersion terms may be obtained by neglecting the normal component of the three-dimensional velocity field. i = 0.. e-in equation (16) with the depth-averaged quantities li. and v. Math.6 respectively./3)/a and R. u.02 fi2 This model is referred to as a momentum MD2.__ 0 I rxx= o. while the wall boundary conditions for the turbulence quantities k and E were imposed using a modification of the ‘wall function’ method of Launder and Spalding. and 1yand /3 are constants having values 1. The velocity components at a wall were specified to be zero in accordance with a ‘no-slip’ condition. Modelling.2(h/R)’ (22) where R is the radius of the curvature of the main streamline. Flokstra4 substituted power law velocity profiles into the third term of equation (3) to derive a closed set of prediction equations.02ti2 rxy= 0.02afi rvr= 0. 1. Following Flokstra’s4 approach. This procedure was found to greatly reduce the possibility of non-convergence of the equations. (Y~. Inflow boundary conditions for the turbulence quantities were obtained by following the approach specified by Rastogi and Rodi.

hi/B. Of the available experimental studies. L/B. system discharge.09 0. suitable and detailed data for rectangular cross-sectioned channels having a strong curvature (mean radius to width ratio of order 3 and below17) are relatively scarce. It also appears that model predictions are not significantly altered by the curvature tnodification of Leschziner and Rodi17 incorporated in Model 2. and his experimental results have been used by other authors’7Y’g for the purpose of evaluating their respective computational models. and the finite element mesh consisted of 10 elements in the transverse direction. Y. and (2) while the tnodification proved to be of some significance when simulating the strongly recirculating flows examined by Leschziner and Rodi. was 0. as may be seen from Figure 3. it is possible to use the present model to predict important flow phenomena such as flow separation and recirculation. Model 5 was utilized to conduct a parametric study of some of the parameters governing flow in a curved channel.Subcritical open channel flow: N. the simplified momentum dispersion model MD2 incorporated in Model 4 clearly results in improved model predictions when compared to Model 3. The inlet depth to width ratio.09 Equation 0. and may not be directly applicable to depth-averaged computations. the normal velocity profile of van Bendegom” may not be strictly applicable to the strongly curved channel flow present in Rozovskii’s’* experimental Tab/e 1 Model simulations CP value 0. as the model equations of Leschziner and Rodi” are. 1985. The friction coefficient was specified to be the experimental value of cff = 366. and inlet Froude number were kept constant for this group of simulations. To allow comparison of the results.5%.075 and the Reynolds number. Modelling. 10 elements in the longitudinal or main flow direction along the straight reaches. 2. Math.75. Vol.09 Equation Momentum Neglected Neglected Model MD1 Model MD2 Model MD3 dispersion Model 1 Model Model Model Model Model 1 2 3 4 5 (16) (16) Appl.5%. and 17 elements in the circumferential direction along the curved reach. 1. and is associated with a maximum error of 4. Kuo Consequently. Rozovskii’s18 data was found to be suitable for model verification purposes. April 85 . of 1 . Consequently. Ro/B. The channel consisted of a 180” bend. not parabolic. and is associated with a maximum error of 2. This finite element mesh was used for all the simulations described in the present study. and finite element mesh configuration. Re had the value 15 600 associated with an inlet Froude number F = Uinlet/(ghi)1’2 = 0.3 and 4 is shown in Figures 2. Figure 4 shows that momentum dispersion model MD1 degrades the overall predictive capability of Model 3. A possible explanation for the failure of momentum dispersion model MD1 may lie in the fact that the closure expressions utilized in the model were derived assuming helicoidal flow in a long gentle channel bend. where Uinret is the inlet velocity. various variants of the proposed model were used to simulate Rozovskii’s” experimental flow conditions so as to evaluate the different Reynolds stress and momentum dispersion closure schemes. 9. the following inflow boundary may be imposed: conditions 6 5 -Model ExperImental 1 data u:ii ii =h ki = (0.3. The simulations made with the depth-averaged hydrodynamic-turbulence model are summarized in Table I. n% =normalized water depth) Results and discussion A comparison of experimental observations of normalized water depths along the channel’s inner and outer banks with the predictions of Models. It is worth noting at this point that the governing model equations presented in this study are fully elliptic. -4 -5 -6 -7 -6 -E )_) 0 I 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 IO Figure 2 Comparison between predicted (Model I) and experimental water depths along channel inner and outer banks (SIB = normalized distance along centreline. Consequently. In addition.03376.0765~1*h~~/C~)“~ (28) (29) 4 3 2 1 0 -1 L? 0 F= -2 -3 Outer bank where i denotes an inflow value. having a mean radius to width ratio. It is clear that the ‘standard’ hydrodynamic turbulence model (Model 1) results in excellent agreement with the experimental data (Figure 2). Consequently.4 and 5 respectively. However. Model simulations Although there exists a large body of experimental data for curved channel flows.O and straight inlet and outlet reaches of length L/B = 3. cff. Puri and C. the inlet depth to width ratio. The failure of the curvature modifications may be due to the following two reasons: (1) the modification was derived for two-dimensional and axisymmetric flows.17 its significance may be diminished when applied to subcritical curved channel flows that do not exhibit separation. In addition. including Ro/B.

and Figure 6 shows a comparison of Model 5 predic- + 5- -Model ExperImental 4 data Outer bank -1 -E -7 -E -2 S/B Figure 3 Comparison between predicted (Model 2) and experimental water depths along inner and outer banks -4 -5-2 0 F -2 -3- St-5_-Model 432lQ-1 -2- ExperImental 3 data 0123456789 S/B 10 11 Figure 5 Comparison between predicted (Model 4) and experimental water depths along inner and outer banks Outer bank - ExperImental data 2. three-dimensional 86 Appl. from Figures 4 and 5. Vol.D model (model 3-D model 5 ---6 t ) -3 4 0 F -4 -5-6-7 -8-9-lO-11 -12 -131 Outer Inner bank bank -14h . April . Modelling. 0 1 . Math. 2 1 1 I I I I I I -5-6- 3 4 6 5 S/B 7 8 9 IO Comparison between predicted (Model 3) and experiFigure4 mental water depths along inner and outer banks -8-9-1oj . Consequently. This observation is borne out by the significant improve- I 3 I 4 I 5 S/B I 6 I 7 I 8 I 9 I 10 model” Figure6 Comparison between and exoerimental data” Model 5. Puri and C. 2 \_’ flume. 9. 0 1 . it may be advisable to entirely eliminate this inappropriate normal velocity profile from the closure model when simulating strongly curved flow. Model 5 was found to result in an overall minimum discrepancy between model predictions and experimental data. Kuo Exoerlmental data ment in the predictive capability of Model 4 over Model 3. Y. 1985. as may be seen.Subcritical 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 -1 -z 0 F -2 -3 -4 -5 open channel flow: N.

and predictions made with the ‘parabolized’ three-dimensional model of Leschziner and Rodi.98 - 0. The figure shows that a smaller R.96 - 0920.90 0 890.lB values l . The ‘optimal’ computational model (Model 5) results in excellent agreement between model predictions and experimental data. complex and restricted ‘parabolic’ three-dimensional model. However.870./B ratio results in a more convex water surface profile. . The simulation model is capable of predicting separation in subcritical strongly curved open channel flow due to the elliptic nature of the governing equations. 1 . Overall model predictions are as good as those made with a more expensive and restricted threedimensional model.890. it is impar-tant to note that the depth-averaged model is far more economical in computer storage and execution time than the three-dimensional model.5 R/B 0. care must be taken to avoid simulating flows in which the local Froude number exceeds unity (as may happen along the inner bank of the channel curveg. as expected. 1985. . but the effect of the friction coefficient and the radius of curvature on the flow may be seen from Figures 7 and 8 respectively. Kuo tions. Space limitations preclude presentation of all the results obtained from the parametric study.17 It is clearly evident that the predictions of the depth-averaged model are certainly as good as the predictions made with the more expensive. Modelling. 6 . (b) extension of 0 98 +- 0. despite the ‘parabolic’ nature of the latter. 1. 2 . In conclusion. Vol.86 0. Figure 8 shows the water surface profile at the point of maximum curvature in the channel curve (at 0 = 90”). Figure 7 clearly indicates that increased roughness (a smaller cff value) results in a lower water surface elevation along the inner bank of the curved channel segment.7 08 0. the following extensions and/or modifications of the existing model should be useful: (a) incorporation of pollutant transport module. 0. 3 . :. In addition. Momentum dispersion closure schemes computed using a three-dimensional normal velocity profile based upon helicoidal flow in a wide.3 Figure 8 Normalized R.::I .4 0.. The above conclusions indicate that the model is superior to the previous computational models reported in the literature. 0 01 02 0. gentle.Subcritical open channel flow: N.85L 0 . 9.6 0. 7 . the increased roughness results in increased frictional losses so that the water surface elevation at the channel outlet is lower than the outlet elevation corresponding to smaller roughness values. Y.5%. 4 R/B Figure 7 Normalized water depth profiles along channel inner bank for different cff values .91 0.. In this case. Math. April 87 . the follow.88 - Conclusions Based on the results of simulations ing conclusions may be made: conducted. Also.9 1. cross waves will form along the channel and the present model cannot be applied. 8 Appl.92 0. water depth profiles at 0 = 90” for different The curvature modification adopted for the present model appears to have little effect on the computation of strongly curved subcritical open channel flows that do not exhibit separation. The maximum discrepancy between the predicted and observed normalized water depth profiles is approximately 2.01 r 0.21). and also results in larger superelevation differences between the channel inner and outer bank at 6 = 90”. . . 5 . experimental data. and the results of the parametric study are useful in the design of optimal channel bend configurations. Puri and C. and the predicted and observed velocity fields also appear to be in good agreement. channel bend are not significant for the prediction of strongly curved open channel flows that do not exhibit separation.880.

W. W. I.Subcritical open channel flow: N. Math. M. ASCE 1968. 104 (HY3) 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 88 Appl. Kven. Numerical Methods in Fluids 1982. ‘Application of the twoequation k-c turbulence model to a two-dimensional.. France. 99 (1) Reddy. A. W. E. Symp. McGraw-Hill. Vol. ‘The closure problem for depth-averaged twodimensidnal flows’. 1982 Schamber. J. Blacksburg. ASCE 1981. C. H. Report Sl63-1. Washington. and Sharma. 3. N.. Heat and Mass Transfer 1918. Paper_AIO6. Proc. ASME. ‘An algebraic stress and heat-flux model for turbulent shear flow with streamline curvature’. W.. ‘Boundary layer theory’.. and Rodi. M. Dr J.17th IAHR Congress. Fluids Engng 1981. 9. J. R. and Rodi. This modification would remove the need for a fine finite element mesh since the higher order element is more accurate. Y. C.B. 1977 Schlichting. ‘The numerical calculation of turbulent flows’. N. Delft. a Doctoral Dissertation. 1955 Launder. VA. ‘A mathematical model of steady flow in curved open shallow channels’. Delft. 1985. Private communication. W. L. L. D. ‘A depth-averaged mathematical model for near field of side discharges into open channel flow’. steady. 1973 Chapman. R. and Kuo. ‘On penalty function methods in the finiteelement analysis of flow problems’. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. ‘Numerical modeling of fluid flow using the penalty function finite-element technique’. ‘Calculation of strongly curved open channel flow’. J. I. 105 (HY 10) iozovskii. Reddy provided a computer program which was modified for inclusion as a part of the entire model. presented by the IAHR -Section on Fundamentals of Division II Experimental and Mathematical Fluid Dynamics. J. Baden-Baden. N. Proc. M. Pridden. E. ASCE 1978. B. and Kuo. and Larock. J. USSR (translation No. 94 (NY4) the steady-state model to solve time dependent problems. D. and Rodi. Y. J. Trans. M.59 (B l-11) Soliman. C.86 (4) Leschziner. April . ASeE Hydraulic Conf. Y. 1914 Ratogi. ‘Calculation of annular and twin parallel jets using various discretization schemes and turbulence ~ model variations’. 2 Reddy. ‘Numerical analysis of subcritical open channel flow using the penalty function finite element method’. Netherlands. ASCE 1979. j. Int. on Refined Model&g of Flows. C. A. CME-8004364. Office of Technical Services. B. Vol. A. Netherlands. J. H. 1976 van Bendegom. and Rodi. 21 Launder.. 12 13 References Kuipers. Cambridge. A. These modifications will greatly increase the general applicability and usefulness of the model for flow predictions. J. B. Report 76-1. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. ‘Numerical analysis of flow in sedimentation basins’. E. R. C. N. 2. ‘Prediction of heat and mass transfer in open channels’. B. J. E. Blacksburg. J. ‘The calculation of turbulent boundary layers on spinning and curved surfaces’. Fluids Ennnn 1977. Hvdraulics Div. and (c) improvement of the computational method by replacing the lower order four node finite element used in the present study with a higher order eight node element. Hydraulics Div. 103 Gibson. and Tinney. ‘Flow of water in bends of open channels’. 1983 Flokstra. Germany. J. MA. Delft. M.. Modelling. Puri and C. M. 107 (HY5) Leschziner. Laboratory of Fluid Mechanics. Paris. S. ‘Calculation of twodimensional horizontal flow’. A.. New York. 1982 Puri. D. Hydraulics Div. ‘Flow around 180” bends in open rectangular channels’. and Vrengdenhil. Trans.. Delft Hydraulics Laboratory. 9 10 11 Acknowledgements This research was supported by National Science Foundation. J. and Spalding. Hyraulics Div. Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering. free surface flow problem with separation’. Vol. ‘Turbulence models and their application in hydraulics: a state of the art review’. B. 1980 Puri. N. J. Fluid Mechanics 1978. ASME. VA. J. OTS 60-S 1133). Delngerzieur 1940. Kuo 8 Rodi. 1983 McGuirk. Academv of the Sciences of the Ukranian SSR. H. 1957 de Vriend.C. ‘Some consideration on river morphology and river improvement’.