Experimental study of bed particle motions in the floodplain of rectangular compound channel

Document Type : Research Article


1 Professor, Taribiat Modares University

2 M.S.,, Tarbiat Modares University

3 assistant professor/ kharazmi university


Introduction: Sediment transport is one of the most basic and important characteristics in river hydraulics and bed morphology. The prediction of sediment transport path in rivers and also artificial laboratory channels is absolutely complicated, and mostly conducted with semi-empirical methods. In such cases, the Lagrangian method is essential for exploring the physics of individual sediment particles. The investigation of the flow pattern in the compound channels originated from 1960s and followed by the exploration of turbulence structures of overbank flows. However, studies on the characteristics and processes of sediment transport in the compound channels are rarely conducted. For completion this gap, in this experimental study, the rolling and sliding motions of individual bed particle in the floodplain of a rectangular compound channel have been experimentally investigated. Specifically, the mechanical parameters of particle motions such as velocity and acceleration are investigated. In this regard, different statistical distributions, especially Gaussian or normal distribution, are employed to introduce the properties of bed sediment motions in the floodplain.
Methodology: The experiments were conducted in the hydraulic laboratory of Tarbiat Modarres University in a straight open channel with length of 10 m, width of 1 m and height of 0.7 m (Fig. 1). The laboratory flume is a wide rectangular channel with a compound section (Fig. 2), where the side wall and bottom of the channel are made of glass. The main channel is 0.4 m wide and the floodplain is 0.6 m wide. To control the water depth, an adjustable weir was used at the end of channel. The discharge at the inlet of the channel was controlled using a regulating valve downstream of pump and measured by an electromagnetic flow-meter. The hydraulic conditions of the experiments are summarized in Table 1. According to the calculations, the Reynolds and Froude numbers are 28000 and 0.34, respectively. Therefore, the flow in the compound channel in the present study has turbulent and subcritical regime. The flow depths in the floodplain and main channel are 5 and 20 cm, respectively.
To capture high quality images from bed particle motions in short intervals, a camera with the speed of 24 frames per second and FullHD resolution was used (Fig. 3). To improve the quality of images, the floodplain and main channel bottoms were coated with black color in the measurement zone. Moreover, for detection of particle trajectories, the measurement zone was regularly meshed by the perpendicular lines with the distance of 10 cm. Several projectors were applied at different angles for illumination of the measuring plane. The spherical bed particle characteristics of the present study are mentioned in Table 2. Particle tracking were conducted at the distances of 5, 20, 40, and 50 cm from the floodplain side wall (Fig. 4), and repeated about 20 times for each one.
Results and Discussion: Chi-Squared test were used to determine the appropriate distribution to describe the longitudinal and transverse velocity and acceleration of individual particles (Fig. 5). Also, skewness and kurtosis of data series are employed to investigate the fitness of velocity and acceleration data to the normal distribution (Eqs. 2 and 3). The skewness values for the particle longitudinal and transverse velocities are always close to zero and their kurtosis values are close to 3, in the case of sediment release at 20 cm from the floodplain side wall. This indicates that the particle longitudinal and transverse velocities follow the normal distribution. However, kurtosis of longitudinal acceleration diverges from 3, and consequently, does not follow normal distribution (Table 3). The averaged longitudinal and transversal velocities of the sediment particles increase, approaching to the interaction zone (Fig. 6). Also, the standard deviation of longitudinal and transverse velocity and acceleration values increase with the increase of distance from the floodplain side wall (Fig. 7 and 8). Kurtosis of streamwise and spanwise velocity and acceleration of sediment particles increase far from floodplain side wall (Fig. 9), duo to the uniformity of particle motions in the interaction zone. The linear relationship between the average particle velocity and flow shear velocity indicates that there is a good agreement between the results of the present study and previous researches.
Conclusion: The results of this study show that the sreamwise and lateral velocity and spanwise acceleration histograms of spherical particles in the floodplain far from the interaction zone, could be fitted to the normal distribution. While the kurtosis of histograms increases considerably, approaching to the junction. The histogram of streamwise acceleration does not fitted by normal distribution. The histogram kurtosis of velocity and acceleration is enhanced approaching the interaction zone.


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Volume 15, Issue 4 - Serial Number 154
January 2021
Pages 113-124
  • Receive Date: 20 October 2020
  • Revise Date: 07 December 2020
  • Accept Date: 12 December 2020
  • First Publish Date: 12 December 2020