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Title: On the Morphodynamics of a Wide Class of Large‐Scale Meandering Rivers: Insights Gained by Coupling LES With Sediment‐Dynamics

In meandering rivers, interactions between flow, sediment transport, and bed topography affect diverse processes, including bedform development and channel migration. Predicting how these interactions affect the spatial patterns and magnitudes of bed deformation in meandering rivers is essential for various river engineering and geoscience problems. Computational fluid dynamics simulations can predict river morphodynamics at fine temporal and spatial scales but have traditionally been challenged by the large scale of natural rivers. We conducted coupled large‐eddy simulation and bed morphodynamics simulations to create a unique database of hydro‐morphodynamic data sets for 42 meandering rivers with a variety of planform shapes and large‐scale geometrical features that mimic natural meanders. For each simulated river, the database includes (a) bed morphology, (b) three‐dimensional mean velocity field, and (c) bed shear stress distribution under bankfull flow conditions. The calculated morphodynamics results at dynamic equilibrium revealed the formation of scour and deposition patterns near the outer and inner banks, respectively, while the location of point bars and scour regions around the apexes of the meander bends is found to vary as a function of the radius of curvature of the bends to the width ratio. A new mechanism is proposed that explains this seemingly paradoxical finding. The high‐fidelity simulation results generated in this work provide researchers and scientists with a rich numerical database for morphodynamics and bed shear stress distributions in large‐scale meandering rivers to enable systematic investigation of the underlying phenomena and support a range of river engineering applications.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
DOI PREFIX: 10.1029
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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