The flow field around a bridge abutment is analyzed by means of large eddy simulation. The geometrical configuration corresponds to the initial condition of a scour process (flat bed). The three-dimensional flow structure in front of the abutment is analyzed with special emphasis on its effects on shear stresses and pressure gradients on the bottom wall which, in turn, are discussed with respect to their potential scouring action. Both first- and second-order statistics around the abutment are quantitatively discussed, together with probability density distributions of stresses in specific locations. The investigation shows that several terms may play a relevant role in sediment transport around the obstacle. Specifically, the mean horizontal pressure gradient may reach values as large as two orders of magnitude that of a canonical boundary layer, whereas the instantaneous vertical pressure gradient may give an uplifting force comparable to the immersed weight of the sediment. The analysis suggests that local scour models should incorporate the contribution to the destabilizing force coming from pressure stresses and from turbulent fluctuations.

Turbulent stresses at the bottom surface near an abutment: a laboratory-scale numerical experiment

BALLIO, FRANCESCO;
2009

Abstract

The flow field around a bridge abutment is analyzed by means of large eddy simulation. The geometrical configuration corresponds to the initial condition of a scour process (flat bed). The three-dimensional flow structure in front of the abutment is analyzed with special emphasis on its effects on shear stresses and pressure gradients on the bottom wall which, in turn, are discussed with respect to their potential scouring action. Both first- and second-order statistics around the abutment are quantitatively discussed, together with probability density distributions of stresses in specific locations. The investigation shows that several terms may play a relevant role in sediment transport around the obstacle. Specifically, the mean horizontal pressure gradient may reach values as large as two orders of magnitude that of a canonical boundary layer, whereas the instantaneous vertical pressure gradient may give an uplifting force comparable to the immersed weight of the sediment. The analysis suggests that local scour models should incorporate the contribution to the destabilizing force coming from pressure stresses and from turbulent fluctuations.
Turbulent flow; Abutments; Scour; Eddy simulation
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/517094
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