Environmental Fluid Mechanics

, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 1557–1574 | Cite as

Modeling stratified suspension concentration distribution in turbulent flow using fractional advection–diffusion equation

  • Snehasis KunduEmail author
Original Article


The distribution of suspended sediment particles in a steady, uniform and stratified turbulent flow through open-channels is investigated in this study using fractional advection–diffusion equation (FADE). Unlike previous studies on FADE, the FADE is employed with the effects of stratification due to the presence of the sediment particles. Analogous to the approach of stratified flow, the effect of stratification is connected with the damping of the sediment diffusivity. A general model of sediment diffusion coefficient in stratified flow is proposed which changes along vertical direction as well as with the order of the fractional derivative. Finally the model of sediment distribution is derived incorporating the effects of non-local transport of particles, stratification, hindered settling velocity and damping of mixing length. The model is solved numerically using the fractional Adams–Bashforth–Moulton method and solutions are validated with the experimental data. The validation results are satisfactory. The variation of the depth average sediment diffusion coefficient and the proposed model of sediment diffusion coefficient with the fractional order \(\alpha\) are investigated. The results show that with the decrease of fractional order \(\alpha\), the value of depth average sediment diffusion coefficient increases and the depth variable sediment diffusion coefficient shows a overall increases throughout the flow depth. The rationality of the dependence of \(\alpha\) on both types of sediment diffusion coefficients have been justified physically. It is also found that the effect of stratification results a decrease both for the suspension distribution and the sediment diffusion coefficient which is consistent with the results using traditional ADE.


Suspension concentration distribution Open channel flow Turbulent flow Fractional advection diffusion equation Stratification 



The work is partially supported by the DST (SERB) sponsored Project with file No. ECR/2017/000184.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MathematicsNIT JamshedpurJamshedpurIndia

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