Environmental Fluid Mechanics

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 971–996 | Cite as

LE of shallow mixing interfaces: A review

  • George Constantinescu
Original Article


Eddy-resolving techniques have become a powerful tool to investigate shallow flows at both laboratory and field scale. In this paper several examples are given where high-resolution 3D numerical simulation are used to investigate the spatial development of mixing interfaces (MIs) forming in shallow environments like open channels with idealized and natural bathymetry where the bed friction plays a major role in the spatial development of the MI and associated large-scale turbulence. The focus is on the coherent structures forming within the MI and in its vicinity that control the momentum and mass exchange and heat transfer between the two sides of the MI. Examples include: (1) a MI developing in a flat-bed open channel downstream of a splitter wall separating two parallel fully-turbulent streams of different velocities, (2) a MI developing in a flat-bed open channel downstream of a 60\(^{\circ }\) wedge separating two non-parallel fully turbulent streams of different velocities, (3) a MI developing downstream of a river confluence for cases with a large and, respectively, a small difference between the mean velocities of the two streams. Stratification effects due to unequal densities of the two incoming streams are also discussed, (4) a MI developing between a main rectangular straight channel and a series of shallow embayments present at one of the channel banks. Besides using available experimental data to demonstrate that eddy resolving techniques can accurately predict the structure of the MI and its development, the paper discusses new insights into the physics of these flows obtained based on the simulations. The paper also provides an overview of the main numerical approaches that can be used to simulate the unsteady dynamics of the large scale turbulence in flows containing shallow MIs.


Shallow flows Mixing layer Large eddy simulation River confluences 



This paper is based in great part on the research work performed at the University of Iowa by Dr. G. Kirkil, Dr. A. McCoy, Mr. S. Miyawaki and Mr. Z. Cheng. Part of the research was conducted in collaboration with Prof. B. Rhoads and Dr. A. Sukhodolov.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, IIHR-Hydroscience and EngineeringThe University of IowaIowa CityUSA

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