Code and Solution Verification of 3D Numerical Modeling of Flow in the Gust Erosion Chamber

Friday, 19 December 2014
Alexander Yuen, University of California Davis, Davis, CA, United States and Fabian A Bombardelli, Univ. of California, Davis, Davis, CA, United States
Erosion microcosms are devices commonly used to investigate the erosion and transport characteristics of sediments at the bed of rivers, lakes, or estuaries. In order to understand the results these devices provide, the bed shear stress and flow field need to be accurately described. In this research, the UMCES Gust Erosion Microcosm System (U-GEMS) is numerically modeled using Finite Volume Method. The primary aims are to simulate the bed shear stress distribution at the surface of the sediment core/bottom of the microcosm, and to validate the U-GEMS produces uniform bed shear stress at the bottom of the microcosm. The mathematical model equations are solved by on a Cartesian non-uniform grid. Multiple numerical runs were developed with different input conditions and configurations.

Prior to developing the U-GEMS model, the General Moving Objects (GMO) model and different momentum algorithms in the code were verified. Code verification of these solvers was done via simulating the flow inside the top wall driven square cavity on different mesh sizes to obtain order of convergence. The GMO model was used to simulate the top wall in the top wall driven square cavity as well as the rotating disk in the U-GEMS. Components simulated with the GMO model were rigid bodies that could have any type of motion. In addition cross-verification was conducted as results were compared with numerical results by Ghia et al. (1982), and good agreement was found. Next, CFD results were validated by simulating the flow within the conventional microcosm system without suction and injection. Good agreement was found when the experimental results by Khalili et al. (2008) were compared. After the ability of the CFD solver was proved through the above code verification steps. The model was utilized to simulate the U-GEMS. The solution was verified via classic mesh convergence study on four consecutive mesh sizes, in addition to that Grid Convergence Index (GCI) was calculated and based on that the computation uncertainty was quantified. The numerical results reveal that the bed shear stress distribution for the U-GEMS model was not uniform. The mean and standard deviation of the bed shear stress for the U-GEMS model was 0.04 and 0.019 Pa respectively.