Numerical computations and laboratory experiments are carried out to investigate the three-dimensional structure of largescale (coherent) vortices induced by bridge abutments on a flat bed. A finite-volume numerical method is developed for solving the unsteady, three-dimensional Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stockes equations, closed with the k-ω turbulence model, in generalized curvi-linear coordinates and applied to study the flow in the vicinity of a typical abutment geometry with a fixed, flat bed. The computed flowfields reveal the presence of multiple, large-scale, unsteady vortices both in the upstream, "quiescent," region of recirculating fluid and the shear-layer emanating from the edge of the foundation. These computational findings motivated the development of a novel experimental technique for visualizing the footprints of large-scale coherent structures at the free surface. The technique relies on digital photography and employs averaging of instantaneous images over finite-size windows to extract coherent eddies from the chaotic turbulent flow. Application of this technique to several abutment configurations yielded results that support the numerical findings.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Hydraulic Engineering|
|State||Published - Mar 2003|
- Bridge abutments
- River beds