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The work herein presented has been developed at the Computational Hydraulics Group at Univerisity of Zaragoza. Computational resources have been provided by LIFTEC-CSIC. The validation of the computational tools has been done in colaboration with the LCH-EPFL.

This work is the result of my Doctoral Thesis Accurate simulation of shallow flows using arbitrary order ADER schemes and overcoming numerical shockwave anomalies, supervised by Dr. J. Murillo and presented at University of Zaragoza on the 27th April 2018. In the following sections, the most relevant aspects of this thesis are brought out and supplementary multimedia content is presented.

Generation of arbitrary order augmented schemes for hyperbolic problems with source terms: application to the SWE

We aim at the generation of fully-discrete arbitrary order numerical schemes, based on the WENO spatial reconstruction and ADER time-stepping technique, with application to hyperbolic problems with source terms. The proposed schemes are based on augmented Riemann solvers that include the contribution of source terms in the definition of the Riemann problem, allowing the presevation of equilibrium states with machine precision.

We consider the application of the aforementioned methods to the SWE with bed elevation, friction and Coriolis. In presence of such sources, the relevant equilibrium states are (see Figure 3):

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Figure 3. Relevant equilibrium states for the SWE.

Furthermore, additional dissipation effects are accounted for by including turbulence models using the Boussinesq approximation. The RANS and URANS approaches are considered and algebraic as well as 1 and 2 equation turbulence models are used.

The WENO AR/ARL-ADER method in 1D: well-balanced and energy-balanced simulation of the SWE with bed variation

The first stage of the project was the development of the mathematical framework for the resolution of hyperbolic conservation laws with geometric source terms with arbitrary order of accuracy using WENO-ADER schemes. A new family of solvers for the Derivative Riemann problem are proposed, using the augmented-solver methodology and based on previous work from Toro, Castro and Titarev. The novelty of the proposed methods is:

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Figure 4. Resolution of RPs including strong bed variations.

Details of the methods and more results can be found in Navas-Montilla, 2015 and Navas-Montilla, 2016.

The WENO ARL-ADER method in 2D: well-balanced simulation of the SWE with bed variation, friction and Coriolis

The numerical schemes in the previous section were then extended to the resolution of the 2D SWE with geometric source term and their application to other shallow water models involving non-geometric sources was explored. The following issues are highlighted:

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Figure 5. Numerical resolution of the reflection wave pattern generated in a subcritical free surface flow around a square cylinder, provided by a 3rd order scheme (right) and 1st order scheme (left). Watch video.
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Figure 6. Numerical simulation of the transport of a passive scalar quantity within a complex flow pattern using a 3rd order scheme (half top) and 1st order scheme (half bottom). Watch video.
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Figure 7. Numerical error vs. CPU and wall time, showing the achieved speed-up.
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Figure 8. Numerical simulation of a double shear layer. Initial condition (left) and solution after t=5 seconds (right), showing the water surface elevation and the vorticity field.
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Figure 9. Numerical simulation of a double shear layer using a 1st, 3rd and 5th order schemes. Vorticity field (top) and 2D energy cascade (bottom).

Watch the following videos for more examples:

Simulation video Simulation video Simulation video Simulation video

Details of the methods and more results can be found in Navas-Montilla, 2018

URANS simulation of shallow flows using the WENO ARL-ADER method for the SWE

The proposed scheme offers a very low numerical dissipation, allowing the computation of small turbulent structures and the reproduction of the theoretical energy cascade as the grid is refined. However, the mathematical model considers a 2D depth averaged flow, while turbulence is, in essence, three dimensional. Therefore, extra dissipation terms must be included to account for the small scale turbulent dissipation that the model cannot resolve.

In shallow flows, there is a coexistence of small-scale 3D turbulence, mainly generated by the friction on the bottom, and large-scale 2D turbulence, generated by horizontal gradients. The proposed model uses a turbulence model to account for the effects of the small-scale turbulence and resolves the large-scale 2D vortices. This approach is often called depth averaged URANS simulation or depth averaged LES simulation. A representation of the typical energy cascade in shallow flows is presented in Figure 10.

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Figure 10. Typical energy cascade in shallow flows. 2D and 3D turbulence appear at different length scales.

Turbulence modelling is of practical application when simulating the flow interaction with solid obstacles such as bridge piers and groynes, or even with strong variations in the bed elevation and bed friction.

Simulation of the flow over a submerged conical island

This test case is a benchmark for tsunami simulation models and was introduced with this purpose for the first time at the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program (NTHMP) workshop (Portland, 2015). It consists of a shallow flow over a small-slope submerged island. The aim of this benchmark is to test the model’s ability to generate a separation region and the resulting oscillatory wake for an idealized and simplified case.

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Figure 11. Numerical simulation of a shallow water flow over a submerged conical island (watch video).

Figure 11 shows a snapshot of simulated tracer concentration distribution where the von-Karman vortex street can be observed. Only when including a suitable calibration of the friction coefficient and the turbulence model, the velocities in the wake are properly predicted and there is a stable periodicity in the shedding of von-Karman vortices. Figure 12 displays a comparison between numerical and experimental velocities in the wake region. The detailed description of the simulation of this experiment is described in Navas-Montilla, 2019.

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Figure 12. Experimental (dots) and numerical velocities in the wake of the island. Solution without turbulence model (light blue), with turbulence model with low diffusion (blue) and with optimal calibration (purple). (Watch video).

Application of the model to a practical problem of environmental relevance: river restoration

In the last decades, riverine and coastal habitats have degenerated because of anthropogenic activities. Nowadays, the scientific community is making a big effort to design novel approaches to recover biodiversity in such ecosystems. The utilization of fast and reliable predictive tools will suppose a breakthrough in this field as they will be able to plan efficient strategies based on the predicted quantitative variables.

Channels with lateral cavities are commonly used for river restoration purposes as the presence of cavities enhances fine sediment trapping. The flow in these channels, far from being simple, involves the presence of steady seiching waves produced by the coupling between the instability of the separated turbulent layer along the opening of the cavities and a gravity standing wave within the cavities. Such coupling is associated with large-scale coherent vortical structures in the unstable shear layer and periodic oscillations of the free surface within the cavity. The complexity of such flow configuration challenges the prediction capability of simulation models.

Detailed results of the application of the proposed schemes to the simulation of channels with lateral cavities can be found in the following article Navas-Montilla, 2019, done in colaboration with C. Juez (UPM), M. J. Franca (UN-IHE Delft) and J. Murillo (Unizar). An animation of the results can be watched here.

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Figure 13. Configuration of a channel with lateral cavities.
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Figure 14. Experimental and computed water surface elevation evolution in time at points E3, E4 and E5 without (left) and with turbulence model (right).

Watch the following videos for more examples:

Simulation video Simulation video Simulation video