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Title:High-resolution spatial and temporal evolution of two-dimensional flow structure at a small stream confluence
Author(s):Sabrina, Sadia
Advisor(s):Rhoads, Bruce L
Department / Program:Geography & Geographic InfoSci
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
LSPIV: Hydrodynamics
Abstract:Confluences are recognized as locations within rivers where interaction between incoming flows produces complex hydrodynamic conditions characterized by distinct spatial patterns of mean or turbulent flow. Despite recognition of this hydrodynamic complexity, few studies have mapped in detail spatial patterns of flow at confluences and variation in these patterns over time. Recent developments in Large-Scale Particle Image Velocimetry (LSPIV) have created novel opportunities to explore the spatial and temporal dynamics of flow patterns at confluences. This study uses LSPIV to map two-dimensional flow structure at the water surface and to examine variation in this structure over time. Results show that flow within the confluence is characterized by a large region of flow stagnation develops at the junction apex, a region of low velocities at the downstream junction corner, and a region of merging of the two flow along a mixing interface within the center of the confluence. Interaction between the incoming flows varies over time in the form of episodic pulsing in which one of the two tributaries flows first decelerates and then subsequently accelerates into the confluence. The cause of this pulsing remains uncertain, but it seems to reflect changes in the water-surface pressure-gradient field as the two flows compete for space within the confluence. No large-scale vortices are evident within the mixing interface for the particular flow conditions documented in this study, but such vortices do occur along the margins of the stagnation zone where shearing action between fast-moving and slow-moving fluid is strong. The results of the study provide insight into the time-dependent dynamics of the spatial structure of flow at stream confluences.
Issue Date:2020-12-09
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Sadia Sabrina
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-03-05
Date Deposited:2020-12

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