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Craig Addley December 11, 1998 21:47

Natural river channel CFD
I am starting a PhD project trying to assess the potential applicability of 3-D CFD in modeling flow (aquatic organsim habitat) in natural rives. Our group at Utah State University has used 1-D hydraulics and some 2-D hydraulics (Boss International) for instream flow assessments (evironmental impact modeling) for many years, but it appears that 3-D modeling would be very advantageous in many situations.

I have collected extensive boundary condition data for several large sections of river. I am looking for advice from people experienced in using CFD in natural channels and I am looking for software and/or code that I can test.

Knut Alfredsen December 12, 1998 07:42

Re: Natural river channel CFD

We have used the 2D/3D SSIIM model for modelling flow in rivers in several aquatic habitat projects. The 3D model is currently used in bioenergetic modelling of fish, analysis of spatial explicit data like snout velocity and for studies of flow effects on aquatic growth. Our experiences with this system is so far encouraging. I do think one of your colleagues Karl Tarbet has used the program.


Knut Alfredsen NTNU, Trondheim, Norway

SSIIM home page:

Craig Addley December 14, 1998 11:14

Re: Natural river channel CFD
Thanks Knut. I am aware to a limited extent of the SSIIM model and some of the applications of it to natural channels, but unaware of very few other models and applications to natural channels.

Who is a good contact person for the SSIIM model that is most familiar with its use to date in this arena.

Herve January 27, 1999 07:50

Re: Natural river channel CFD
Dear Craig,

I also happen to work on testing of 2 and 3D-CFD codes applied to natural rivers in the event of flooding. We are currently using the French code TELEMAC from EDF-DER. But we are in the early stages of our own project, so I can't give you much useful information for now. However the Telemac codes have been designed for rivers and estuaries (originally I think for powerstation installation along rivers or shores). It is a quasi-3D CFD codes built on finite elements. It incorporates different numerical algorithms (MOC, CDS+SUPG, MOC+SUPG, FCT, Conservative+SUPG), two turbulence models (K-epsilon, and constant eddy-viscosity)and a free surface model. In the U.K. it's being used by people at Bristol Uni. Lancaster Uni. and Glasgow for flood prediction, recirculation zones, transport of pollutant on the flooplain at high flows, water tank design (?),fishpath (?)...

After some meetings with other civil engineering users we have also decided to move on to CFX soon, which is a finite volume code.


Thorsten January 28, 1999 09:43

Re: Natural river channel CFD
Dear Craig,

I am working at Bristol University, department of civil engineering and i have used SSIIM extensively in the past 2years with big success in many areas. Recently I compared SSIIM against other numerical models and against laboratory data and the results were remarkable. SSIIM showed a very good match in many cases; especially in fully 3D flows, such as bends or confluences. Another advantage of SSIIM is that it is freeware. If you are interested in my application let me know and I could send you some of my simulations. best wishes Thorsten

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