Articles | Volume 16, issue 1
Research article
13 Jan 2012
Research article |  | 13 Jan 2012

Frequency pattern of turbulent flow and sediment entrainment over ripples using image processing

A. Keshavarzi, J. Ball, and H. Nabavi

Abstract. River channel change and bed scourings are source of major environmental problem for fish and aquatic habitat. The bed form such as ripples and dunes is the result of an interaction between turbulent flow structure and sediment particles at the bed. The structure of turbulent flow over ripples is important to understand initiation of sediment entrainment and its transport. The focus of this study is the measurement and analysis of the dominant bursting events and the flow structure over ripples in the bed of a channel. Two types of ripples with sinusoidal and triangular forms were tested in this study. The velocities of flow over the ripples were measured in three dimensions using an Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter with a sampling rate of 50 Hz. These velocities were measured at different points within the flow depth from the bed and at different longitudinal positions along the flume. A CCD camera was used to capture 1500 sequential images from the bed and to monitor sediment movement at different positions along the bed. Application of image processing technique enabled us to compute the number of entrained and deposited particles over the ripples. From a quadrant decomposition of instantaneous velocity fluctuations close to the bed, it was found that bursting events downstream of the second ripple, in Quadrants 1 and 3, were dominant whereas upstream of the ripple, Quadrants 2 and 4 were dominant. More importantly consideration of these results indicates that the normalized occurrence probabilities of sweep events along the channel are in phase with the bed forms whereas those of ejection events are out of phase with the bed form. Therefore entrainment would be expected to occur upstream and deposition occurs downstream of the ripple. These expectations were confirmed by measurement of entrained and deposited sediment particles from the bed. These above information can be used in practical application for rivers where restoration is required.