EGU2020-10186, updated on 12 Jun 2020
EGU General Assembly 2020
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Numerical modelling of particle-fluid interaction in fluvial sediment transport

Gaston Latessa1, Dong Xu2, Chunning Ji2,3, and Manousos Valyrakis1
Gaston Latessa et al.
  • 1University of Glasgow, Glasgow, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (
  • 2State Key Laboratory of Hydraulic Engineering Simulation and Safety, Tianjin University, Tianjin, 300072, China
  • 3FGAG, University of Split, Croatia

Numerical simulations for the transport of coarse sediment particles in turbulent flows are performed, with particular emphasis on the energy and momentum exchange [1, 2, 3] between the two phases at the particle scale.  The solid particles positions and velocities are solved through the Discrete Element Method (DEM), coupled with a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model which updates the dynamically evolving flow field through the numerical solution of the Reynolds Averaged of Navier-Stokes equations (RANS).

At the core of this work, the coupling of these two models (DEM-CFD) based on the Fictitious Boundary Method, is analysed. The models have a high mesh resolution, by adopting a meshing strategy which aims at sufficiently discretising the flow field surrounding each particle. Smooth and rough bed cases are simulated, under a wide range of Reynolds numbers covering applications from particle entrainment, up to bulk bedload transport through rolling and saltation. The numerical results are benchmarked against experimental data obtained from controlled laboratory experiments [4, 5, 6].

The implementation of coupled CFD-DEM models provides a very powerful tool for improving the understanding of fluid and particle physics in sediment transport. Particularly, the potential to perform a large number of validated numerical that robustly predict geomorphological changes in aquatic environments and fluvial systems.


[1] Valyrakis M., P. Diplas, C.L. Dancey, and A.O. Celik. 2008. Investigation of evolution of gravel river bed microforms using a simplified Discrete Particle Model, International Conference on Fluvial Hydraulics River Flow 2008, Ismir, Turkey, 03-05 September 2008, 10p.

[2] Valyrakis M., Diplas P. and Dancey C.L. 2013. Entrainment of coarse particles in turbulent flows: An energy approach. J. Geophys. Res. Earth Surf., Vol. 118, No. 1., pp 42- 53, doi:340210.1029/2012JF002354.

[3] Pähtz, Th., Clark, A., Duran, O., Valyrakis, M. 2019. The physics of sediment transport initiation, cessation and entrainment across aeolian and fluvial environments, Reviews of Gephysics,

[4] Valyrakis, M. & Pavlovskis, E. 2014. "Smart pebble” design for environmental monitoring applications, In Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Hydroinformatics, Hamburg, Germany.

[5] Valyrakis M., A. Alexakis. 2016. Development of a “smart-pebble” for tracking sediment transport. International Conference on Fluvial Hydraulics River Flow 2016, St. Liouis, MO, 8p.

[6] Valyrakis, M., Farhadi, H. 2017. Investigating coarse sediment particles transport using PTV and “smart-pebbles” instrumented with inertial sensors, EGU General Assembly 2017, Vienna, Austria, 23-28 April 2017, id. 9980.

How to cite: Latessa, G., Xu, D., Ji, C., and Valyrakis, M.: Numerical modelling of particle-fluid interaction in fluvial sediment transport , EGU General Assembly 2020, Online, 4–8 May 2020, EGU2020-10186,, 2020


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