Qualitative and Quantitative Flow Visualization Studies on a Distorted Hydraulic Physical Model

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Qualitative and Quantitative Flow Visualization Studies on a Distorted Hydraulic Physical Model is a well-researched Engineering Thesis/Dissertation topic, it is to be used as a guide or framework for your Academic Research.

Abstract

The submergence of coastal wetlands in south Louisiana leaves communities, commerce, industry, and ecosystems vulnerable to extreme weather events and human and natural disasters. The state of Louisiana has developed a plan to mitigate coastal land loss and with the help of Louisiana State University and the Lower Mississippi River Physical Model, projects like large scale sediment diversions will be extensively tested and researched to ensure proper implementation and operation.

Due to scaling and distortion of the physical model, complete similitude with its prototype is not expected and scale effects are anticipated to affect the hydrodynamics and, as a result, complete replication of sediment transport dynamics.

The objective of this study is to qualitatively and quantitatively observe and analyze the hydrodynamics and hydraulics in a geometrically distorted river model by utilizing two flow visualization techniques – dye injection to investigate the assumption of Reynolds independence and particle image velocimetry (PIV) to investigate the impact of model distortion on 2-dimensional hydrodynamics.

The results of the studies effectively answer the questions raised in the objective of this thesis. Dye injection studies show increasing levels of mixing and that 3-dimensional hydrodynamics are observable in the bends of the model river channel. Also, PIV-measured surface velocities show good agreement with theoretical values.

These results are intended to help understand the limitations of the physical model so that the model results can be properly applied and, if necessary, modifications to the model can be made to improve the results. This understanding is critical to ensure that the results from this research tool are properly used to aid in river management and coastal restoration planning, design, and policies made by the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.

Introduction

Human intervention in the Mississippi River Drainage basin and in the river itself have negatively affected the hydrology and hydraulics associated with the system. While this intervention has promoted economic growth and protected communities adjacent to the river from flooding, the downstream ecology of the Mississippi River Delta has faced the brunt of those impacts.

Freshwater and sediment starved wetlands are quickly transforming into open water and receding into the Gulf of Mexico. The issue is further exacerbated by relative sea-level rise, making the need to protect the communities and industries that rely on those wetlands for storm defense increasingly urgent.

Louisiana’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), the state agency responsible for implementing and enforcing coastal protection and restoration projects, has developed a master plan for a sustainable coast and has identified large scale sediment diversions as a top priority. In partnership with Louisiana State University (LSU), CPRA has built a hydraulic, mobile bed physical model of the lower 195 miles of the Mississippi River known as the Lower Mississippi River Physical Model (LMRPM).

One of the key goals of this model is to investigate the river’s response to river sediment diversions, relative sea-level rise, and future flow and sediment loads. The model was designed with a geometric distortion and scaled to specific parameters in order to house it in a reasonably sized facility and to ensure similarity with its prototype (the Mississippi River).

Due to the distortion and scaling of the model, scale effects are expected to impact some laboratory results. Scale effects arise when force ratios are not identical between a model and its real-world prototype and result in deviations between the up-scaled model and prototype observations. In an effort to explore the anticipated scale effects in the LMRPM, flow visualization studies were conducted utilizing techniques such as dye injection and particle image velocimetry (PIV).

If the model is expected to yield results that will aid in decision making related to sediment diversions and river management, it is important to understand the model’s capabilities and limitations.

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Additional information

Type

Thesis/Dissertation topic

Department

Engineering

No of Chapters

5

Reference

Yes

Format

PDF

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