Free-Flow Sediment Flushing: Insights from Prototype-Scale Studies
Taymaz Esmaeili*,, Tetsuya Sumi**, Sameh A. Kantoush**, and Yoji Kubota***
*Department of Civil Engineering, Gorgan Branch, Islamic Azad University
Gorgan 49147-39975, Iran
**Disaster Prevention Research Institute (DPRI), Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
***Hydro Technology Institute Co., Ltd., Osaka, Japan
Free-flow sediment flushing operation offers viable means to preserve the storage capacity of dam reservoirs as the incoming flood erodes the flushing channel, and the deposited sediment is flushed from the reservoir. This method involves complex flow patterns and flushing channel formation procedures owing to the dynamic interaction between varying flow conditions (e.g., shallow and deep flows) and moveable bed variations notably when the non-uniform sediments exist in the complex geometry of reservoirs. In the present study, first, the numerical simulation of a previously conducted free-flow sediment flushing operation in the Dashidaira and the target segment of Unazuki reservoirs using the available field-measured data were presented. Then, to improve the flushing efficiency in the Dashidaira reservoir, the effects of using a groyne were studied. A fully 3D numerical model using the finite volume method in combination with a wetting/draying algorithm was utilized to reproduce the flow velocity field and morphological bed changes. While the characteristics of the flow field can be captured by the numerical model in Dashidaira and Unazuki reservoirs, simulated bed changes in upstream areas covered with the coarser materials (e.g., study zone of Unazuki reservoir) showed some discrepancies. The outcomes also revealed that implementing a groyne at the entrance of the wide midstream of Dashidaira reservoir can locally increase the sediment erosion chance from this area and thereby can improve the flushing efficiency by approximately 10%. Therefore, the risks associated with the accumulation of distorted sediments in the wide midstream of Dashidaira reservoir within a long-term period could be reduced.
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