The three-dimensional sediment scour model for non-cohesive soils was first introduced to FLOW-3D in Version 8.0 to simulate sediment erosion and deposition (Brethour, 2003). It was coupled with the three-dimensional fluid dynamics and considered entrainment, drifting and settling of sediment grains. In Version 9.4 the model was improved by introducing bedload transport and multiple sediment species (Brethour and Burnham, 2010). Although applications were successfully simulated, a major limitation of the model was the approximate treatment of the interface between the packed and suspended sediments. The packed bed was represented by scalars rather than FAVORTM (Fractional Area Volume Obstacle Representation, the standard treatment for solid components in FLOW-3D). As a result, limited information about the packed bed interface was available. That made accurate calculation of bed shear stress, a critical factor determining the model accuracy, challenging.
In this work, the 3D sediment scour model is mostly redeveloped and rewritten. The model is still fully coupled with fluid flow, allows multiple non-cohesive species and considers entrainment, deposition, bedload transport and suspended load transport. The fundamental difference from the old model is that the packed bed is described by the FAVORTM technique. At each time step, area and volume fractions describing the packed sediments are calculated throughout the domain. In the mesh cells at the bed interface, the location, orientation and area of the interface are calculated and used to determine the bed shear stress, the critical Shields parameter, the erosion rate and the bedload transport rate. Bed shear stress is evaluated using the standard wall function with consideration of bed surface roughness that is related to the median grain size d50. A sub-mesh method is developed and implemented to calculate bedload transport. Computation of erosion considers entrainment and deposition simultaneously in addition to bedload transport.
Furthermore, a shallow-water sediment scour model is developed in this work by adapting the new 3D model. It is coupled with the 2D shallow water flows to calculate depth-averaged properties for both suspended and packed sediments. Its main differences from the 3D model are 1) the settling velocity of grains is calculated using an existing equation instead of the drift-flux approach in the 3D model, and 2) turbulent bed shear stress is calculated using a well-accepted quadratic law rather than the log wall function. The drag coefficient for the bed shear stress is either user-given or locally evaluated using the water depth and the bed surface roughness that is proportional to d50 of the bed material. The following sections present the sediment theory used in the model and application and validation cases.