This laboratory study aims at investigating the longitudinal development of a mixing layer in a compound open-channel (two-stage geometry with a main channel and adjacent floodplains). The floodplains are covered with two roughness types: either a bed roughness representing a submerged dense meadow or emergent roughness elements (cylinders) representing an alluvial forest. The theoretical background used for plane mixing layers is adapted to the highly three-dimensional mixing layer that develops at the main channel/floodplain interface. The mixing layer width is divided into two parts on either side of the interface. For the wooded floodplain, the mixing layer width on the floodplain side levels off downstream much more rapidly than for the grassed floodplain. The lateral profiles of normalised velocity and turbulence quantities are found to be self-similar in the longitudinal direction for a fixed elevation. However, shallowness effects prevented the normalised lateral profiles of velocity and turbulence quantities from coinciding at different elevations. The respective contributions of lateral Reynolds stresses and secondary currents to the lateral exchange of momentum are estimated. At the main channel/floodplain interface, the momentum exchange is driven by Reynolds stresses. In the main channel, both Reynolds stresses and secondary currents contribute to the lateral flux of momentum. Secondary currents are stronger with emergent macro-roughness elements than with bed-roughness only on the floodplains. Large-scale turbulent coherent structures are investigated based on two-point space-time correlations of velocity. These structures are found to span the entire floodplain flow depth, and their convection velocity is close to the depth-averaged longitudinal velocity at the interface. The coherent fluctuations of the longitudinal and lateral velocities have different Strouhal number values, similar to those found in plane mixing layers.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 18, 2017
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