Advp Measurements Of Flow Over Low-Angle Bedforms In A Laboratory Flume Setup


  • KEVIN BOBILES Faculty of Geosciences, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • CHRISTINA CARSTENSEN Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute (BAW), Hamburg, Germany
  • ALICE LEFEBVRE MARUM – Center for Marine Environmental Sciences, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany



Bedforms, ADV, flume experiments


In many coastal and estuarine environments, bedforms develop due to the complex interactions between hydrodynamics, sediment transport and morphology which affect hydro-morphodynamic processes at various spatio-temporal scales. Furthermore, bedforms are considered main drivers of flow resistance via turbulence and affect near bottom processes such as bed roughness, bottom shear stress and turbulent structures. A detailed study and characterisation of flow over bedforms is therefore significant to many fundamental and engineering applications such as sediment transport calculation and prediction, channel managements, or burial of submarine cables.

Asymmetric dunes with an angle-of-repose (30°) lee side have been well studied (Best, 2005; Venditti, 2013). They are representative of dunes commonly found in laboratory flumes and small rivers. Over such bedforms, flow is characterised by a permanent flow separation zone and intense turbulence over their lee side. Recently, it was shown that bedforms in large rivers are mainly low- to intermediate-angle dunes (mean lee side ca. 5-20°) having their steepest slope located close to the trough (Cisneros et al., 2020). Over such low- and intermediate-angle river dunes, flow separation is inexistent or intermittent and only little turbulence is generated (e.g. Kwoll et al., 2016; Lefebvre and Cisneros, 2023).

Estuarine bedforms also possess mostly low- to intermediate-angle mean lee slopes between 5° and 20° (Dalrymple and Rhodes, 1995; Lefebvre et al., 2021). However, contrary to river bedforms, estuarine bedforms usually have a sharp pointed crest with the steepest slope situated near the crest and a relatively flat trough (Aliotta and Perillo, 1987; Lefebvre et al., 2021). It is not clear yet how much flow properties vary between high-angle flat-crested dunes and low-angle sharp-crested dunes. In particular, it is unknown whether a permanent or an intermittent flow separation can be observed over some segments of the lee side. Furthermore, the relation between the reversing tidal flow and natural estuarine morphology is not well understood yet.

In this study, laboratory flume experiments will be conducted to measure the mean flow and turbulence over estuarine bedforms. Previous experiments performed by Carstensen and Holzwarth (2023) demonstrated the potential of high-resolution measurements over a large-scale estuarine dune in a laboratory flume. Building on this, experiments will be carried out over a fixed concrete low- and intermediate- angle estuarine bedform field. The results from this study can be used to characterise in detail the flow dynamics over estuarine bedforms.




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