Numerical simulation of wind erosion : application to dune migration

Abstract : Wind erosion is a complex dynamic process consisting in an atmospheric boundary layer, aeolian particle transport, sand dune deformation and their intricate interactions. This thesis undertakes this problems by conducting three-dimensional numerical simulations of solid particle transport over a fixed or deformable sand dune. Turbulent flow is calculated by a developed numerical solver (Large-eddy simulation (LES) coupled with immersed boundary method (IBM)). Solid particle trajectories are tracked by a Lagrangian approach. Particle entrainment, particle-surface interactions and particle deposition are taken into account by physical comprehensive wind erosion models. Firstly, a new numerical solver has been developed to simulate turbulent flows over moving boundaries by introducing the IBM into LES. Two canonical simulation cases of a turbulent boundary layer flow over a Gaussian dune and over a sinusoidal dune are performed to examine the accuracy of the developed solver. Recirculation region characteristics, mean streamwise velocity profiles, Reynolds stress profiles as well as the friction velocity over the dune are presented. In the Gaussian case, a good agreement between experimental data and simulated results demonstrates the numerical ability of the improved solver. In the sinusoidal case, the developed solver with wall modeling over the immersed boundary shows a better performance than the pure one, when a relatively coarse grid is used. Secondly, physical comprehensive modeling of wind erosion is described in detail, based on the forces acting an individual particle. An instantaneous entrainment model for both lifting and rolling-sliding modes is proposed to initialize particle incipient motions. Lagrangian governing equations of aeolian particle motion are presented and used to simulate the trajectories of solid particles. Particularly, Lagrangian governing equations of bed-load particle motion are originally deduced and applied to model the particle rolling-sliding movement on the bed surface. In addition, particle-surface interactions are taken into account by probabilistic rebound/splash models. Thirdly, numerical simulations of particle transport over a fixed Gaussian dune and over a deformable sinusoidal dune are carried out. In the fixed Gaussian case, an overall good agreement on the particle concentration profiles over the dune between the simulated results and the experimental data of Simoens et al. (2015) preliminarily validates the ability and accuracy of the developed numerical solver coupled with physical comprehensive wind erosion models. In the deformable sinusoidal case, the simulated dune shapes are compared with the experimental ones of Ferreira and Fino (2012). A good agreement between them is observed at t = 2.0 min and an obvious underestimate of the dune shape is shown at t = 4.0 min and t = 6.0 min. By analyzing the simulated results, it is shown that the recirculation zone behind the dune is gradually reduced as the dune deforms and that windward erosion and lee side deposition is observed. It is also shown after testing that the splash entrainment is important for the lee side erosion. Moreover, a preliminary attempt is presented to apply an improved splash model with accounting for the bed slope effect to the simulation of sand dune deformation. A better performance on the simulated dune shape is achieved at t = 4.0 min in comparison with the experimental one.
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Jianzhao Wu. Numerical simulation of wind erosion : application to dune migration. Other. Université de Lyon, 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019LYSEC016⟩. ⟨tel-02166919⟩

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