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Flow and Turbulence Characteristics of Open Channel Flow over a Mobile Bed

Prashanth Reddy Hanmaiahgari, Vesselina Roussinova, Ram Balachandar and Tirupati Bolisetti
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Windsor
Windsor, Canada



Abstract The particle image velocimetry (PIV) technique
has been used to study turbulence characteristics of the flow
over a mobile sand bed in an open channel flow (OCF).
Initially, the flow is in the fully rough regime and the bed is
non-mobile. As the flow velocity is increased, bed becomes
mobile. This paper presents preliminary results for the vertical
distributions of the velocity, turbulence intensities and
Reynolds shear stress, in a region above y
+
= 20 on the non-
mobile and mobile rough bed. The present experiments are
compared with previously reported data on a smooth bed.
Keywords-PIV; mobile-bed; OCF; turbulence; log-law

I. INTRODUCTION

Current knowledge of flow and turbulence characteristics
over a rough sand bed is still unable to explain the
mechanisms by which dunes are formed. Most of the previous
experimental studies on dunes were based on studying
turbulence characteristics over fixed dunes where the role of
mobile sediment was ignored. In natural flows, bed is
continuously changing and bed forms such as dunes and
ripples are formed as a result of the continuous sediment
transport. Analysis of turbulence characteristics of mobile bed
in open channel flow is very important in order to quantify bed
resistance, Reynolds shear stresses and secondary flows. The
turbulence generation in a non-mobile, but porous sand bed
still needs to be understood. The state of knowledge regarding
the turbulence characteristics due to mobility of the bed is very
sparse. This paper presents experimental results obtained using
a particle image velocimeter (PIV) to characterize flow field
and turbulence in open channel flow over a mobile sand bed.
Results of the present experiments are verified with the
previously published data on flow over smooth bed.


Experimental investigations have produced increasingly
detailed and consistent information for the turbulence structure
of smooth open channel flows (e.g., Nakagawa and Nezu
[1]; Tachie, Bergstrom and Balachandar [2]; Balachandar and
Patel [3]; Krampa-Morlu and Balachandar [4]) and boundary
layer flows (e.g., Tachie, Bergstrom and Balachandar [5];
Jimenez [6]). Bigillon, Nio and Garcia [7] studied turbulence
characteristics of flow over a sand layer glued to the smooth
channel bottom using a PIV. However, studies of the effect of
roughness on turbulence characteristics in a mobile sand bed
are very limited. Most of the earlier studies reported pointwise
turbulence measurements obtained by using hot-film
anemometry (e.g., Antonia and Krogstad [8]), laser Doppler
velocimetry (e.g., Tachie, Bergstrom and Balachandar [2];
Balachandar and Patel [3]) and acoustic Doppler velocimetry
(e.g.,Nikora and Goring [9]). PIV provide velocity information
in multiple points in the plane, allowing investigation of the
spatial variation of the velocity (Hyun, Balachandar, Yu and
Patel [10]; Manes, Pokrajac, and McEwan [11]) and vorticity
fields.

This paper investigates the double averaged turbulence
characteristics of OCF on a mobile sand bed using PIV.
Results for the mean flow, turbulence intensities and Reynolds
shear stress are compared with previous results obtained on a
smooth bed using laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV) technique.

II. EXPERIMETNS

A. Experimental setup
The experiments were conducted in a rectangular
open channel flume 12.0 m long, 0.61 m wide, and 1.0 m high.
The test section was located 3.5 m downstream from the start
of sand bed which was sufficiently long for the flow to attain a
fully developed state. A ramp was build at the start of the sand
bed to avoid any disturbances in approaching flow (Fig. 1) and
smoothly transition the flow onto the bed. The sand bed was
5.8 m long and 0.15 m thick spanning the width of the flume.
The mean size diameter (J
50
) of the sand grains was 0.7mm.
The roughness height (k
s
) is considered equal to J
50
, i.e.
k
s
=0.7 mm. A centrifugal pump of 25 HP was used to control
and recirculate the water in the flume.


The PIV experiments were conducted in a vertical central
plane of the channel and the size of the observation field of
view (FOV) was 0.075 m 0.075 m. A Nd-YAG laser with
300 mJ/ pulse was used to illuminate the flow. The particle
images were recorded using a 4M pixels camera and
synchronized with the laser. The camera resolution was 2048 x
2048 pixels and it was able to capture two consecutive images
of the FOV with small time separation (t). The flow was
continuously seeded with spherical hollow glass particles of
mean diameter 12m with a specific gravity of 1.13
manufactured by Potters Industries Inc.
2















For each test, a series of 2000 pairs of images was recorded
and analyzed. The images were analyzed with the TSI Inc
Insight software. The velocity at any point is determined by
measuring the movement of the particles between two
consecutive recorded images using a two dimensional cross-
correlation technique. Each frame was split up into a grid of
small interrogation areas (IA) where the correlation analysis is
performed. The details of the correlation technique are
provided by Westerweel [12]. There was a 50% overlap of the
neighboring IA such that a grid containing about 127 x127
velocity vectors was produced for the flow field on each image
with a resolution of about five wall units. The spurious
vectors, estimated to be less than 2%, were eliminated on the
base of a range filter and a median filter. The PIV data yield
instantaneous vector fields for the whole field of view, for
each pair of images analyzed. Turbulence characteristics were
computed by double averaging of the velocity data ([13]) and
the results are presented in the following sections.

B. Experimental conditions
The present experiments were carried out under uniform flow
conditions for non-mobile bed where the flow depth was 0.08
m. For mobile bed conditions, only velocity is increased and
all other flow conditions were same. The aspect ratio (width of
the channel to depth ratio) is 7.63 which is large enough to
avoid side wall effects. Reynolds number R
c
= ubv based on
the total depth (b) and maximum free stream velocity (u) were
16696 and 26713 respectively. The Froude number for these
two experiments was 0.27 and 0.44 which corresponds to
subcritical flow regimes.

The value of the friction velocity was obtained using two
different methods. The first method fits the velocity defect
equation proposed by Krogstad, Antonia and Browne [14] to
the measured velocity distribution in the outer region y/h > 0.1
which is referred here as u
Iog
. Krogstad, Antonia and Browne
[14] proposed an equation for the outer layer velocity
distribution of the velocity u(y) in a fully developed rough
turbulent boundary layer given by:
u
mux
+
- u
+
=
2

_1 -
1
2
(1 +6) _
y + e
o
]
2
-(1 +4) _
y + e
o
]
3
_
-
1

ln _
y + e
o
]
(1)
Here, o is the boundary layer thickness, y is the wall normal
location; e is the virtual origin located below the top of the
roughness elements and is the von Karman constant 0.41.
Equation 1 has been adopted for the flow in straight open
channel flow on smooth and rough beds (Balachandar,
Blakely, Tachie, and Putz [15]; Tachie, Bergstrom and
Balachandar [2]). The non-dimensional quantity is called
the wake parameter and it is a measure of the deviation of the
velocity distribution from the logarithmic law of the wall.
Cardoso, Graf and Gust [16] reported values of that varied
from -0.27 to +0.2 for the smooth, uniform open channel flow.
In present rough open channel flow, values are negative and
varied from -0.103 to -0.259.

The second method uses a linear regression fit of the measured
Reynolds shear stress in the region 0.2 < y/h < 0.7 where the
contribution from the viscous stress is negligible. The value
of the Reynolds shear stress is extrapolated to the wall and this
value is used to find another estimate for the friction velocity
denoted as u
u
. A summary of experimental conditions is
shown in Table 1. When the bed starts to move the validity of
the friction velocity as a characteristic velocity scale becomes
questionable since the classical law of the wall is derived for a
smooth bed. In this paper, scaling with the friction velocity
was used to compare the present velocity distribution on the
mobile bed with the previous reported data assuming validity
of the universal logarithmic law of the wall. Equation 1
computes higher values for the friction velocity compared to
the Reynolds shear stress method as shown in Table 1. Since
the values of the u
u
and u
Iog
listed in Table 1 were within a
37% error for non-mobile bed and 112% for mobile bed, the
u
u
was chosen to scale velocity, turbulent intensities, and
Reynolds stress distributions. Note that in the following text,
the superscript + denotes quantities made dimensionless
with the viscous length scale u

v or viscous velocity scale


1u

.

Fig. 1 Schematic of experimental set-up
3











III. MEAN FLOW
The vertical distribution of the mean streamwise velocity, u,
was computed from the PIV data using a double averaging
procedure. The velocity fields are first averaged over time and
then spatially averaged over constant vertical slices. The
velocity distributions in the logarithmic law format are shown
in Figure 2.














Fig 2 Velocity distributions of smooth bed, rough non- mobile
bed rough mobile bed

From the graph, it is noted that the flow resistance of the run
with a mobile bed is higher than that of the non-mobile bed
with identical roughness characteristics. It was also noted that
the velocity distribution of mobile bed is not exactly parallel to
the theoretical log law line. It appears that application of log
law of the wall to flow over the mobile bed is rather difficult
and may not be correct.

IV. TURBULENT INTENSITIES
Figure 3 shows vertical distributions of the streamwise
turbulence intensity, where u
ms
+
denotes streamwise
turbulence intensities in inner scaling. Nezu and Nakagawa
[17] proposed an empirical equation (Eq. 2) describing the
vertical distribution of the streamwise turbulence intensities of
the rough open channel flow.


u
ms
u

=
u
u

2.Sexp(-y b )
1

ln(y b ) +
2

sin
2
[
ny
2b
+
1

ln(k
s
b ) +8.S

(2)




















Fig 3 Distributions of streamwise turbulence
intensity as a function of the outer variable

This equation is included for comparison in Figure 3 along
with the calculated turbulence intensities over rough non-
mobile and mobilebed, respectively.

Figure 3 presents u
ms
+
distribution of non-mobile bed, mobile
bed, smooth wall (Roussinova, Biswas and Balachandar [18])
and as well as with theoretical curve plotted for non-mobile
bed given by the Eq. 2. Equation 2 is a function of u and
relative value of k
s
b. Experimental data of mobile and non-
mobile beds show a reasonably good agreement with smooth
wall and Eq. 2. As expected, Eq. 2 nicely reproduces the plot
of u
ms
+
of non-mobile bed and Eq. 2 lies below the u
ms
+

distribution of mobile bed. The decrease in distribution of
u
ms
+
of mobile bed with increase in y b is less than the non-
mobile bed may be due to production of higher turbulence on
mobile bed. The u
ms
+
distribution for mobile bed reaches a
maximum value of about 5.0 for 0 < y b

< 0.1. Measured
u
ms
+
values for mobile bed near the wall slightly above the
curve given by Eq. 2. Peak values of u
ms
+
are matching with
that of eq. 2 for smooth wall case, and non-mobile bed.
Measurements of u
ms
+
decrease near the wall for y
+
< 10 for
mobile and non-mobile beds.

TABLE 1 Summary of the experimental conditions
Runs
u
Iog
(m/s)
[14] e (m) o (m)
u
mux

(m/s)
Reynolds
number
u
u
(m/s)
(Reynolds
stress
method)
Non-mobile bed 0.0137 -0.00067 -0.1035 0.0586 0.240 16696 0.010
Mobile bed 0.051 -0.00073 -0.259 0.0632 0.384 26713 0.024
0
5
10
15
20
25
50 500 5000
u
+
y
+
nonmobilebed
mobilebed
loglaw
smoothbed
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3
3.5
4
4.5
5
0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
u
R
M
S
+
y/h
nonmobilebed
mobilebed
Nezu&Nakagawa
(1993)
smoothbed
4















Fig 4 vertical distributions of vertical turbulence intensity as a
function of the outer variable y b

:
ms
+
= 1.14exp (-u.76y b ) (3)

Figure 4 shows the distributions of the vertical turbulence
intensity :
ms
+
for mobile and non-mobile beds and as well as
for smooth wall data (Roussinova, Biswas and Balachandar
[18]). The present results are reasonably well described by the
relationship (Eq. 3) developed for rough open channel flows
by Song, Graf and Lemmin [19]. Present results are also
matching well with smooth wall data (Roussinova, Biswas and
Balachandar [18]) except for y b > 0.5 where decrease of
:
ms
+
on the smooth bed is more than that of non-mobile and
mobile bed experiments. This could be attributed to higher
turbulence generated in the region y b > 0.5 in non-mobile
and mobile bed experiments. Values u
ms
+
:
ms
+


in the
intermediate region, (0.1 < y b < 0.8) for non-mobile bed are
ranging between 1.4 to 2.15 while higher values are obtained
on the mobile bed ranging between 2.0 to 6.7. Theoretical
equations 2 and 3 give u
ms
+
:
ms
+


values in the range of 1.4 to
2.34 which is in good agreement with values obtained on the
non-mobile bed. It is observed that u
ms
+
:
ms
+
is very high in
the case of mobile bed where increase of the flow anisotropy
is evident.

V. REYNOLDS STRESS
The vertical distributions of Reynolds shear stress,
-u
ms
:
ms
u

2
= -u
+
:
+
is plotted in Figure 5. In the
region yo > 0.2, good collapse is noted between present
results and experimental data (Roussinova, Biswas and
Balachandar [18]), corresponding to smooth bed, and with the
trend given by 1 -yo. In the wall region, the Reynolds stress
attains a maximum and decreases towards the bed for smooth
bed data as well as rough non-mobile bed data. This trend of
the scaled Reynolds stress variation with yo is conforming to
the trend available in the literature. In the case of smooth walls
this behavior is due to the viscous effects, while for rough
walls it can be explained by the existence of a roughness sub-
layer where additional mechanisms for momentum extraction
exists (Nikora and Goring [9]). The peak of Reynolds stress
for data on the mobile bed is occurring in the region yo >
0.2. Another important observation in the present studies is
that, as the Reynolds number increases, the peak of Reynolds
stress is decreasing and curve is becoming flatter near the
wall. The difference between theoretical line and experimental
Reynolds stress is very high near the bed in the case of mobile
bed, because viscous effects are dominant near the bed in high
Reynolds number flows. This behavior could be expected as
the theoretical line corresponds to the total stress while the
experimental data correspond only to the Reynolds stress.


















Fig 5 vertical distribution of the Reynolds shear stress as a
function of the y/

VI. CONCLUSIONS
The objective of this paper was to experimentally investigate
the turbulence characteristics of open channel flows under
conditions of rough wall with mobile and non-mobile bed. For
this purpose, vertical distributions of the turbulent intensities
of streamwise and vertical velocities and Reynolds stress have
been investigated using PIV measurements over a non-mobile
and mobile rough sand bed. The present data are compared
with previous results obtained on smooth bed as well as
theoretical equations available in the literature. It appears from
the data analysis that logarithmic law may not be applicable to
flows during mobile bed. It is also concluded that turbulence
and bed resistance increases drastically during mobile bed.
The peak of the scaled Reynolds shear stress decreases with
increase in Reynolds number of flow. Finally, the results
prove that the PIV technique can be successfully applied to
investigate turbulence in open channel flow over rough mobile
bed.

REFERENCES

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R
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