Comparison of Two- and Three-Dimensional Flow and Habitat Modeling in Pool–Riffle Sequences

  • Elham Fazel Najafabadi
  • Hossein AfzalimehrEmail author
Research Paper


Pool–riffle sequences are common bed forms in mountain rivers that have a significant effect on hydraulic and hydro-environment characteristics. Relatively few studies exist on the comparison of two and three dimensional modeling for bed forms in gravel channels. In this paper, flow structure and habitat modeling are performed in an urban river, by a two-dimensional depth-averaged finite element and a three-dimensional control volume model. Comparison of results showed that predicted velocities by SSIIM are lower than measurements data, while River2D simulations are at the same of measured magnitude. By comparing River2D-simulated shear stress and field data, we observed that estimated data are representative of field data, while the magnitude may be over-predicted compared with three-dimensional modeling. Habitat modeling showed maximum used area for River2D velocity modeling. In contrast, SSIIM simulations overestimate the depth of used area values in comparison with River2D.


Habitat modeling Pool–riffle Shear stress Two- and three-dimensional modeling Velocity 


  1. Afzalimehr H (2010) Effect of flow non-uniformity on velocity and turbulence intensities in flow over a cobble-bed. Hydrol Process J 24(3):331–341Google Scholar
  2. Arthington A, Brizga S, Kennard M, Mackay S, McCosker R, Choy S, Ruffini J (1999) Development of a flow restoration methodology (FLOWRESM) for determining environmental flow requirements in regulated rivers using the Brisbane River as a case study. In: Proceedings of Water 99, Brisbane, Australia. The Institution of Engineers, Australia, pp 449–454.Google Scholar
  3. Booker DJ (2003) Hydraulic modeling of fish habitat in urban rivers during high flows. J Hydrol Process 17:577–599CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brown RA, Pasternack GB (2008) Comparison of methods for analyzing salmon habitat rehabilitation designs for regulated rivers. River Res Appl 25(6):745–772CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Caamano D, Goodwin P, Buffington JM (2010) Flow structure through pool–riffle sequences and a conceptual model for their sustainability in gravel-bed rivers. River Res Appl 28:377–389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Caamaño D, Goodwin P, Buffington JM, Liou JCP, Daley-Laursen S (2009) A unifying criterion for velocity reversal hypothesis in gravel-bed rivers. J Hydraul Eng 135(1):66–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Carling PA (1991) An appraisal of the velocity reversal hypothesis for stable pool/riffle sequences in the River Severn England. Earth Surf Process Landf 16:19–31CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Carling PA, Wood N (1994) Simulation of flow over pool-riffle topography: a consideration of the velocity reversal hypothesis. Earth Surf Process Landf 19:319–332CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Clark JS, Hession WC, Rizzo DM, Laible JP, Watzin MC (2006) Two dimensional hydraulic modeling approach to linking stream morphology and aquatic habitat quality. In: Proceedings of the iEMSs third biennial meeting: “Summit on environmental modeling and software”. International Environmental Modeling and Software Society, Burlington, CD ROMGoogle Scholar
  10. Darby SE, Van de Wiel MJ (2003) Models in fluvial geomorphology. In: Kondolf GM, Piegay H (eds) Tools in fluvial geomorphology. Wiley, Chichester, pp 503–537Google Scholar
  11. Dominikus A (2010) Improvements of salmon habitats at the Nausta river. Universität für Bodenkultur, Thesis (MS)Google Scholar
  12. Fazlollahi A, Afzalimehr H, Sui J (2015a) Impacts of pool and vegetated banks on turbulent flow characteristics. Can J Civil Eng 42(12):979–986. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fazlollahi A, Afzalimehr H, Sui J (2015b) Effect of slope angle of an artificial pool on distributions of turbulence. Int J Sed Res 30(2):93–99. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations (FAO) (1998) Rehabilitation of rivers for fish. Fishing News Books, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  15. Gard M (2003) Comparison of spawning habitat predictions of BHABSIM and River2D. Presentation given at the International IFIM User’s Workshop, Fort Collins, ColoradoGoogle Scholar
  16. Hardy RJ, Bates PD, Anderson MG (1999) The importance of spatial resolution in hydraulic models for flood plain environments. J Hydrol 216:124–136CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Julien PY (2010) Erosion and sedimentation. Cambridge University Press, New York, p 280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Keller EA (1971) Areal sorting of bed-load material: the hypothesis of velocity reversal. Geol Soc Am Bull 82(3):753–756CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Keller EA, Florsheim JL (1993) Velocity reversal hypothesis: a model approach. Earth Surf Process Landf 18:733–740CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lane SN, Bradbrook KF, Richards KS, Biron PA, Roy AG (1999) The application of computational fluid dynamics to natural river channels: three dimensional versus two-dimensional approaches. Geomorphology 29:1–20CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Leclerc M, Boudreault A, Bechara JA, Corfa G (1995) Two-dimensional hydrodynamic modeling: a neglected tool in the instream flow incremental methodology. Trans Am Fish Soc 124:645–662CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lisle TE (1979) A sorting mechanism for a riffle-pool sequence. Geol Soc Am Bull 90:1142–1157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Loranger J, Kenner SJ (2004) Comparison of one- and two-dimensional hydraulic habitat models for simulation of trout stream habitat. Critic Transit Water Environ Resour Manag 1:1–10Google Scholar
  24. MacVicar BJ, Roy AG (2007a) Hydrodynamics of a forced riffle pool in a gravel bed river: 1. Mean velocity and turbulence intensity. Water Resour Res 43:W12401Google Scholar
  25. MacVicar BJ, Roy AG (2007b) Hydrodynamics of a forced riffle pool in a gravel bed river: 2. Scale and structure of coherent turbulent events. Water Resour Res 43:W12402Google Scholar
  26. MacVicar BJ, Rennie CD (2012) Flow and turbulence redistribution in a straight artificial pool. Water Resour Res 48:W02503CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. MacWilliams MLJ, Wheaton JM, Pasternack GB, Street RL, Kitanidis PK (2006) Flow convergence routing hypothesis for pool riffle maintenance in alluvial rivers. Water Resour Res 42:W10427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Michael R, Stuart B, Dudley R, James T (1999) Fish habitat evaluation with unsteady flow. In: Waterpower ’99-Hydro’s future: technology, markets, and policy, pp 1–9Google Scholar
  29. Moir HJ, Gibbins CN, Buffington JM, Webb JH, Soulsby C, Brewer MJ (2009) A new method to identify the fluvial regimes used by spawning salmonids. Can J Fish Aquat Sci 66(9):1. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mussetter RA, Wolff CG, Peters MR, Thomas DB, Grochowski D (2004) Two-dimensional hydrodynamic modeling of the Rio Grande to support fishery habitat investigations. Critic Transit Water Environ Resour Manag 1:1–10Google Scholar
  31. Najafabadi EF, Afzalimehr H, Pawel M, Rowiński PM (2018) Flow structure through a fluvial pool-riffle sequence—case study. J Hydro-environ Res 19:1–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Nicholas AP (2001) Computational fluid dynamics modeling of boundary roughness in gravel-bed rivers: an investigation of the effects of random variability in bed elevation. Earth Surf Process Landf 26:345–362MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Olsen NRB (1996) A three-dimensional numerical model for simulation of sediment movements in water intakes with multi-block option. In: SSIIM Users-Manual Version 1.4Google Scholar
  34. Olsen NRB, Stokseth S (1995) Three-dimensional numerical modeling of water flow in a river with large bed roughness. J Hydraul Res IAHR 33:571–581CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Richards KS (1976) Channel width and the riffle–pool sequence. Geol Soc Am Bull 87:883–890CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rutherfurd ID (2000) Some human impacts on Australian stream channel morphology. In: Brizga S, Finlayson B (eds) River management: the Australasian experience. Wiley, Chichester, pp 11–49Google Scholar
  37. Sawyer AM, Pasternack GB, Moir HJ, Fulton AA (2010) Riffle–pool maintenance and flow convergence routing observed on a large gravel-bed river. Geomorphology 114(3):143–160CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Steffler P, Blackburn J (2002) River2D: two-dimensional depth averaged model of river hydrodynamics and fish habitat. Introduction to depth averaged modeling and user’s Manual. University of Alberta, EdmontonGoogle Scholar
  39. Tonina D, Buffington JM (2011) Effects of stream discharge, alluvial depth and bar amplitude on hyporheic flow in pool-riffle channels. Water Resour Res 47:W08508. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wolman MG (1954) A method of sampling coarse river-bed material. Trans Am Geophys Union 35(6):951–956CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Yen BC (1991) Hydraulic resistance in open channels. In: Yen BC (ed) Channel flow resistance: centennial of Manning’s Formula. Water Resource Publications, Highlands Ranch Colo, pp 1–135Google Scholar
  42. Yalin MS (1977) Mechanics of sediment transport. Pergamon Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Shiraz University 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Water EngineeringIsfahan University of TechnologyIsfahanIran
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringIran University of Science and TechnologyTehranIran

Personalised recommendations