Fig. 11. Velocity vectors along x-direction through the center of the box culvert for B0, B30, B50, and B70 respectively.

막힌 암거 하류의 세굴 특성 수치 조사

NesreenTahabMaged M.El-FekyaAtef A.El-SaiadaIsmailFathya
aDepartment of Water and Water Structures Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Zagazig University, Zagazig 44519, Egypt
bLab Manager, Faculty of Engineering, Zagazig University, Zagazig 44519, Egypt


횡단 구조물을 통한 막힘은 안정성을 위협하는 위험한 문제 중 하나입니다. 암거의 막힘 형상 및 하류 세굴 특성에 미치는 영향에 관한 연구는 거의 없습니다.

이 연구의 목적은 수면과 세굴 모두에서 상자 암거를 통한 막힘의 작용을 수치적으로 논의하는 것입니다. 이를 위해 FLOW 3D v11.1.0을 사용하여 퇴적물 수송 모델을 조사했습니다.

상자 암거를 통한 다양한 차단 비율이 연구되었습니다. FLOW 3D 모델은 실험 데이터로 보정되었습니다. 결과는 FLOW 3D 프로그램이 세굴 다운스트림 상자 암거를 정확하게 시뮬레이션할 수 있음을 나타냅니다.

막힌 경우에 대한 속도 분포, 최대 세굴 깊이 및 수심을 플롯하고 비차단된 사례(기본 사례)와 비교했습니다.

그 결과 암거 높이의 70% 차단율은 상류의 수심을 암거 높이의 2.3배 증가시키고 평균 유속은 기본 경우보다 3배 더 증가시키는 것으로 입증되었다. 막힘 비율의 함수로 상대 최대 세굴 깊이를 추정하는 방정식이 만들어졌습니다.

Blockage through crossing structures is one of the dangerous problems that threaten its stability. There are few researches concerned with blockage shape in culverts and its effect on characteristics of scour downstream it.

The study’s purpose is to discuss the action of blockage through box culvert on both water surface and scour numerically. A sediment transport model has been investigated for this purpose using FLOW 3D v11.1.0. Different ratios of blockage through box culvert have been studied. The FLOW 3D model was calibrated with experimental data.

The results present that the FLOW 3D program was capable to simulate accurately the scour downstream box culvert. The velocity distribution, maximum scour depth and water depths for blocked cases have been plotted and compared with the non-blocked case (base case).

The results proved that the blockage ratio 70% of culvert height makes the water depth upstream increases by 2.3 times of culvert height and mean velocity increases by 3 times more than in the base case. An equation has been created to estimate the relative maximum scour depth as a function of blockage ratio.

1. Introduction

Local scour is the removal of granular bed material by the action of hydrodynamic forces. As the depth of scour hole increases, the stability of the foundation of the structure may be endangered, with a consequent risk of damage and failure [1]. So the prediction and control of scour is considered to be very important for protecting the water structures from failure. Most previous studies were designed to study the different factors that impact on scour and their relationship with scour hole dimensions like fluid characteristics, flow conditions, bed properties, and culvert geometry. Many previous researches studied the effect of flow rate on scour hole by information Froude number or modified Froude number [2][3][4][5][6]. Cesar Mendoza [6] found a good correlation between the scour depth and the discharge Intensity (Qg−.5D−2.5). Breusers and Raudkiv [7] used shear velocity in the outlet-scour prediction procedure. Ali and Lim [8] used the densimetric Froude number in estimation of the scour depth [1][8][9][10][11][12][13][14]. “The densimetric Froude number presents the ratio of the tractive force on sediment particle to the submerged specific weight of the sediment” [15](1)Fd=uρsρ-1gD50

Ali and Lim [8] pointed to the consequence of tailwater depth on scour behavior [1][2][8][13]. Abida and Townsend [2] indicated that the maximum depth of local scour downstream culvert was varying with the tailwater depth in three ways: first, for very shallow tailwater depths, local scouring decreases with a decrease in tailwater depth; second, when the ratio of tailwater depth to culvert height ranged between 0.2 and 0.7, the scour depth increases with decreasing tailwater depth; and third for a submerged outlet condition. The tailwater depth has only a marginal effect on the maximum depth of scour [2]. Ruff et al. [16] observed that for materials having similar mean grain sizes (d50) but different standard deviations (σ). As (σ) increased, the maximum scour hole depth decreased. Abt et al. [4] mentioned to role of soil type of maximum scour depth. It was noticed that local scour was more dangerous for uniform sands than for well-graded mixtures [1][2][4][9][17][18]. Abt et al [3][19] studied the culvert shape effect on scour hole. The results evidenced that the culvert shape has a limited effect on outlet scour. Under equivalent discharge conditions, it was noted that a square culvert with height equal to the diameter of a circular culvert would reduce scour [16][20]. The scour hole dimension was also effected by the culvert slope. Abt et al. [3][21] showed that the culvert slope is a key element in estimating the culvert flow velocity, the discharge capacity, and sediment transport capability. Abt et al. [21][22] tested experimentally culvert drop height effect on maximum scour depth. It was observed that as the drop height was increasing, the depth of scour was also increasing. From the previous studies, it could have noticed that the most scour prediction formula downstream unblocked culvert was the function of densimetric Froude number, soil properties (d50, σ), tailwater depth and culvert opening size. Blockage is the phenomenon of plugging water structures due to the movement of water flow loaded with sediment and debris. Water structures blockage has a bad effect on water flow where it causes increasing of upstream water level that may cause flooding around the structure and increase of scour rate downstream structures [23][24]. The blockage phenomenon through was studied experimentally and numerical [15][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33]. Jaeger and Lucke [33] studied the debris transport behavior in a natural channel in Australia. Froude number scale model of an existing culvert was used. It was noticed that through rainfall event, the mobility of debris was impressed by stream shape (depth and width). The condition of the vegetation (size and quantities) through the catchment area was the main factor in debris transport. Rigby et al. [26] reported that steep slope was increasing the ability to mobilize debris that form field data of blocked culverts and bridges during a storm in Wollongong city.

Streftaris et al. [32] studied the probability of screen blockage by debris at trash screens through a numerical model to relate between the blockage probability and nature of the area around. Recently, many commercial computational fluid programs (CFD) such as SSIIM, Fluent, and FLOW 3D are used in the analysis of the scour process. Scour and sediment transport numerical model need to validate by using experimental data or field data [34][35][36][37][38]. Epely-Chauvin et al. [36] investigated numerically the effect of a series of parallel spur diked. The experimental data were compared by SSIIM and FLOW 3D program. It was found that the accuracy of calibrated FLOW 3D model was better than SSIIM model. Nielsen et al. [35] used the physical model and FLOW 3D model to analyze the scour process around the pile. The soil around the pile was uniform coarse stones in the physical models that were simulated by regular spheres, porous media, and a mixture of them. The calibrated porous media model can be used to determine the bed shear stress. In partially blocked culverts, there aren’t many studies that explain the blockage impact on scour dimensions. Sorourian et al. [14][15] studied the effect of inlet partial blockage on scour characteristics downstream box culvert. It resulted that the partial blockage at the culvert inlet could be the main factor in estimating the depth of scour. So, this study is aiming to investigate the effects of blockage through a box culvert on flow and scour characteristics by different blockage ratios and compares the results with a non-blocked case. Create a dimensionless equation relates the blockage ratio of the culvert with scour characteristics downstream culvert.

2. Experimental data

The experimental work of the study was conducted in the Hydraulics and Water Engineering Laboratory, Faculty of Engineering, Zagazig University, Egypt. The flume had a rectangular cross-section of 66 cm width, 65.5 cm depth, and 16.2 m long. A rectangular culvert was built with 0.2 m width, 0.2 m height and 3.00 m long with θ = 25° gradually outlet and 0.8 m fixed apron. The model was located on the mid-point of the channel. The sediment part was extended for a distance 2.20 m with 0.66 m width and 0.20 m depth of coarse sand with specific weight 1.60 kg/cm3, d50 = 2.75 mm and σ (d90/d50) = 1.50. The particle size distribution was as shown in Fig. 1. The experimental model was tested for different inlet flow (Q) of 25, 30, 34, 40 l/s for different submerged ratio (S) of 1.25, 1.50, 1.75.

3. Dimensional analysis

A dimensional analysis has been used to reduce the number of variables which affecting on the scour pattern downstream partial blocked culvert. The main factors affecting the maximum scour depth are:(2)ds=f(ρ.ρ

Fig. 2 shows a definition sketch of the experimental model. The maximum scour depth can be written in a dimensionless form as:(3)dsh=f(B.Fd.S)where the ds/h is the relative maximum scour depth.

4. Numerical work

The FLOW 3D is (CFD) program used by many researchers and appeared high accuracy in solving hydrodynamic and sediment transport models in the three dimensions. Numerical simulation with FLOW 3D was performed to study the impacts of blockage ratio through box culvert on shear stress, velocity distribution and the sediment transport in terms of the hydrodynamic features (water surface, velocity and shear stress) and morphological parameters (scour depth and sizes) conditions in accurately and efficiently. The renormalization group (RNG) turbulence model was selected due to its high ability to predict the velocity profiles and turbulent kinetic energy for the flow through culvert [39]. The one-fluid incompressible mode was used to simulate the water surface. Volume of fluid (VOF) method was employed in FLOW 3D to tracks a liquid interface through arbitrary deformations and apply the correct boundary conditions at the interface [40].1.

Governing equations

Three-dimensional Reynolds-averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) equation was applied for incompressible viscous fluid motion. The continuity equation is as following:(4)VF∂ρ∂t+∂∂xρuAx+∂∂yρvAy+∂∂zρwAz=RDIF(5)∂u∂t+1VFuAx∂u∂x+vAy∂u∂y+ωAz∂u∂z=-1ρ∂P∂x+Gx+fx(6)∂v∂t+1VFuAx∂v∂x+vAy∂v∂y+ωAz∂v∂z=-1ρ∂P∂y+Gy+fy(7)∂ω∂t+1VFuAx∂ω∂x+vAy∂ω∂y+ωAz∂ω∂z=-1ρ∂P∂z+Gz+fz

ρ is the fluid density,

VF is the volume fraction,

(x,y,z) is the Cartesian coordinates,

(u,v,w) are the velocity components,

(Ax,Ay,Az) are the area fractions and

RDIF is the turbulent diffusion.

P is the average hydrodynamic pressure,

(Gx, Gy, Gz) are the body accelerations and

(fx, fy, fz) are the viscous accelerations.

The motion of sediment transport (suspended, settling, entrainment, bed load) is estimated by predicting the erosion, advection and deposition process as presented in [41].

The critical shields parameter is (θcr) is defined as the critical shear stress τcr at which sediments begin to move on a flat and horizontal bed [41]:(8)θcr=τcrgd50(ρs-ρ)

The Soulsby–Whitehouse [42] is used to predict the critical shields parameter as:(9)θcr=0.31+1.2d∗+0.0551-e(-0.02d∗)(10)d∗=d50g(Gs-1ν3where:

d* is the dimensionless grain size

Gs is specific weight (Gs = ρs/ρ)

The entrainment coefficient (0.005) was used to scale the scour rates and fit the experimental data. The settling velocity controls the Soulsby deposition equation. The volumetric sediment transport rate per width of the bed is calculated using Van Rijn [43].2.

Meshing and geometry of model

After many trials, it was found that the uniform cell size with 0.03 m cell size is the closest to the experimental results and takes less time. As shown in Fig. 3. In x-direction, the total model length in this direction is 700 cm with mesh planes at −100, 0, 300, 380 and 600 cm respectively from the origin point, in y-direction, the total model length in this direction is 66 cm at distances 0, 23, 43 and 66 cm respectively from the origin point. In z-direction, the total model length in this direction is 120 cm. with mesh planes at −20, 0, 20 and 100 cm respectively.3.

Boundary condition

As shown in Fig. 4, the boundary conditions of the model have been defined to simulate the experimental flow conditions accurately. The upstream boundary was defined as the volume flow rate with a different flow rate. The downstream boundary was defined as specific pressure with different fluid elevation. Both of the right side, the left side, and the bottom boundary were defined as a wall. The top boundary defined as specified pressure with pressure value equals zero.

5. Validation of experimental results and numerical results

The experimental results investigated the flow and scour characteristics downstream culvert due to different flow conditions. The measured value of maximum scour depth is compared with the simulated depth from FLOW 3D model as shown in Fig. 5. The scour results show that the simulated results from the numerical model is quite close to the experimental results with an average error of 3.6%. The water depths in numerical model results is so close to the experimental results as shown in Fig. 6 where the experiment and numerical results are compared at different submerged ratios and flow rates. The results appear maximum error percentage in water depths upstream and downstream the culvert is about 2.37%. This indicated that the FLOW 3D is efficient for the prediction of maximum scour depth and the flow depths downstream box culvert.

6. Computation time

The run time was chosen according to reaching to the stability limit. Hydraulic stability was achieved after 50 s, where the scour development may still go on. For run 1, the numerical simulation was run for 1000 s as shown in Fig. 7 where it mostly reached to scour stability at 800 s. The simulation time was taken 500 s at about 95% of scour stability.

7. Analysis and discussions

Fig. 8 shows the study sections where sec 1 represents to upstream section, sec2 represents to inside section and sec3 represents to downstream stream section. Table 1 indicates the scour hole dimensions at different blockage case. The symbol (B) represents to blockage and the number points to blockage ratio. B0 case signifies to the non-blocked case, B30 is that blockage height is 30% to the culvert height and so on.

Table 1. The scour results of different blockage ratio.

Casehb cmB = hb/hQ lit/sSFdd50 mmds/h measuredls/hdd/hld/hds/h estimated

7.1. Scour hole geometry

The scour hole geometry mainly depends on the properties of soil of the bed downstream the fixed apron. From Table 1, the results show that the maximum scour depth in B0 case is about 0.58 of culvert height while the maximum deposition in B0 is 0.27 culvert height. There is a symmetric scour hole as shown in Fig. 9 in B0 case. An asymmetric scour hole is created in B50 and B70 due to turbulences that causes the deviation of the jet direction from the center of the flume where appear in Fig. 11 and Fig. 19.

7.2. Flow water surface

Fig. 10 presents the relative free surface water (hw/h) along the x-direction at center of the box culvert. From the mention Figure, it is easy to release the effect of different blockage ratios. The upstream water level rises by increasing the blockage ratio. Increasing upstream water level may cause flooding over the banks of the waterway. In the 70% blockage case, the upstream water level rises to 2.3 times of culvert height more than the non-blocked case at the same discharge and submerged ratio. The water surface profile shows an increase in water level upstream the culvert due to a decrease in transverse velocity. Because of decreasing velocity downstream culvert, there is an increase in water level before it reaches its uniform depth.

7.3. Velocity vectors

Scour downstream hydraulic structures mainly affects by velocities distribution and bed shear stress. Fig. 11 shows the velocity vectors and their magnitude in xz plane at the same flow conditions. The difference in the upstream water level due to the different blockage ratios is so clear. The maximum water level is in B70 and the minimum level is in B0. The inlet mean velocity value is about 0.88 m/s in B0 increases to 2.86 m/s in B70. As the blockage ratio increases, the inlet velocity increases. The outlet velocity in B0 case makes downward jet causes scour hole just after the fixed apron in the middle of the bed while the blockage causes upward water flow that appears clearly in B70. The upward jet decreases the scour depth to 0.13 culvert height less than B0 case. After the scour hole, the velocity decreases and the flow becomes uniform.

7.4. Velocity distribution

Fig. 12 represents flow velocity (Vx) distribution along the vertical depth (z/hu) upstream the inlet for the different blockage ratios at the same flow conditions. From the Figure, the maximum velocity creates closed to bed in B0 while in blocked case, the maximum horizontal velocity creates at 0.30 of relative vertical depth (z/hu). Fig. 13 shows the (Vz) distribution along the vertical depth (z/hu) upstream culvert at sec 1. From the mentioned Figure, it is easy to note that the maximum vertical is in B70 which appears that as the blockage ratio increases the vertical ratio also increases. In the non-blocked case. The vertical velocity (Vz) is maximum at (z/hu) equals 0.64. At the end of the fixed apron (sec 3), the horizontal velocity (Vx) is slowly increasing to reach the maximum value closed to bed in B0 and B30 while the maximum horizontal velocity occurs near to the top surface in B50 and B70 as shown in Fig. 14. The vertical velocity component along the vertical depth (z/hd) is presented in Fig. 15. The vertical velocity (Vz) is maximum in B0 at vertical depth (z/hd) 0.3 with value 0.45 m/s downward. Figs. 16 and 17 observe velocity components (Vx, Vz) along the vertical depth just after the end of blockage length at the centerline of the culvert barrel. It could be noticed the uniform velocity distribution in B0 case with horizontal velocity (Vx) closed to 1.0 m/s and vertical velocity closed to zero. In the blocked case, the maximum horizontal velocity occurs in depth more than the blockage height.

7.5. Bed velocity distribution

Fig. 18 presents the x-velocity vectors at 1.5 cm above the bed for different blockage ratios from the velocity vectors distribution and magnitude, it is easy to realize the position of the scour hole and deposition region. In B0 and B30, the flow is symmetric so that the scour hole is created around the centerline of flow while in B50 and B70 cases, the flow is asymmetric and the scour hole creates in the right of flow direction in B50. The maximum scour depth is found in the left of flow direction in B70 case where the high velocity region is found.

8. Maximum scour depth prediction

Regression analysis is used to estimate maximum scour depth downstream box culvert for different ratios of blockage by correlating the maximum relative scour by other variables that affect on it in one formula. An equation is developed to predict maximum scour depth for blocked and non-blocked. As shown in the equation below, the relative maximum scour depth(ds/hd) is a function of densimetric Froude number (Fd), blockage ratio (B) and submerged ratio (S)(11)dsh=0.56Fd-0.20B+0.45S-1.05

In this equation the coefficient of correlation (R2) is 0.82 with standard error equals 0·08. The developed equation is valid for Fd = [0.9 to 2.10] and submerged ratio (S) ≥ 1.00. Fig. 19 shows the comparison between relative maximum scour depths (ds/h) measured and estimated for different blockage ratios. Fig. 20 clears the comparison between residuals and ds/h estimated for the present study. From these figures, it could be noticed that there is a good agreement between the measured and estimated relative scour depth.

9. Comparison with previous scour equations

Many previous scour formulae have been produced for calculation the maximum scour depth downstream non-blockage culvert. These equations have been included the effect of flow regime, culvert shape, soil properties and the flow rate on maximum scour depth. Two of previous experimental studies data have been chosen to be compared with the present study results in non-blocked study data. Table 2 shows comparison of culvert shape, densmetric Froude number, median particle size and scour equations for these previous studies. By applying the present study data in these studies scour formula as shown in Fig. 21, it could be noticed that there are a good agreement between present formula results and others empirical equations results. Where that Lim [44] and Abt [4] are so closed to the present study data.

Table 2. Comparison of some previous scour formula.

ResearchersFdCulvert shaped50(mm)Proposed equationSubmerged ratio
Present study0.9–2.11square2.75dsh=0.56Fd-0.20B+0.45S-1.051.25–1.75
Lim [44]1–10Circular1.65dsh=0.45Fd0.47
Abt [4]Fd ≥ 1Circular0.22–7.34-dsh=3.67Fd0.57∗D500.4∗σ-0.4

10. Conclusions

The present study has shown that the FLOW 3D model can accurately simulate water surface and the scour hole characteristics downstream the box culvert with error percentage in water depths does not exceed 2.37%. Velocities distribution through and outlets culvert barrel helped on understanding the scour hole shape.

The blockage through culvert had caused of increasing of water surface upstream structure where the upstream water level in B70 was 2.3 of culvert height more than non-blocked case at the same discharge that could be dangerous on the stability of roads above. The depth averaged velocity through culvert barrel increased by 3 times its value in non-blocked case.

On the other hand, blockage through culvert had a limited effect on the maximum scour depth. The little effect of blockage on maximum scour depth could be noticed in Fig. 11. From this Figure, it could be noted that the residual part of culvert barrel after the blockage part had made turbulences. These turbulences caused the deviation of the flow resulting in the formation of asymmetric scour hole on the side of channel. This not only but in B70 the blockage height caused upward jet which made a wide far scour hole as cleared from the results in Table 1.

An empirical equation was developed from the results to estimate the maximum scour depth relative to culvert height function of blockage ratio (B), submerged ratio (S), and densimetric Froude number (Fd). The equation results was compared with some scour formulas at the same densimetric Froude number rang where the present study results was in between the other equations results as shown in Fig. 21.

Declaration of Competing Interest

The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper.


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