Calibration of the 2D Hydrodynamic Model Floodos and Implications of Distributed Friction on Sediment Transport Capacity

Friday, 19 December 2014
Thomas Croissant, Dimitri Lague and Philippe Davy, University of Rennes, Rennes Cedex, France
Numerical models of floodplain dynamics often use a simplified 1D description of flow hydraulics and sediment transport that cannot fully account for differential friction between vegetated banks and low friction in the main channel. Key parameters of such models are the friction coefficient and the description of the channel bathymetry which strongly influence predicted water depth and velocity, and therefore sediment transport capacity. In this study, we use a newly developed 2D hydrodynamic model, Floodos, whose efficiency is a major advantage for exploring channel morphodynamics from a flood event to millennial time scales. We evaluate the quality of Floodos predictions in the Whataroa river, New Zealand and assess the effect of a spatially distributed friction coefficient (SDFC) on long term sediment transport.

Predictions from the model are compared to water depth data from a gauging station located on the Whataroa River in Southern Alps, New Zealand. The Digital Elevation Model (DEM) of the 2.5 km long studied reach is derived from a 2010 LiDAR acquisition with 2 m resolution and an interpolated bathymetry. The several large floods experienced by this river during 2010 allow us to access water depth for a wide range of possible river discharges and to retrieve the scaling between these two parameters. The high resolution DEM used has a non-negligible part of submerged bathymetry that airborne LiDAR was not able to capture. Bathymetry can be reconstructed by interpolation methods that introduce several uncertainties concerning water depth predictions. We address these uncertainties inherent to the interpolation using a simplified channel with a geometry (slope and width) similar to the Whataroa river. We then explore the effect of a SDFC on velocity pattern, water depth and sediment transport capacity and discuss its relevance on long term predictions of sediment transport and channel morphodynamics.