Environmental Fluid Mechanics

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 695–714 | Cite as

Influence of the secondary motions on pollutant mixing in a meandering open channel flow

  • Ignacio J. Moncho-EsteveEmail author
  • Frederik Folke
  • Manuel García-Villalba
  • Guillermo Palau-Salvador
Original Article


This paper presents large eddy simulation of turbulent flow in a meandering open channel with smooth wall and rectangular cross-section. The Reynolds number based on the channel height is 40,000 and the aspect ratio of the cross-section is 4.48. The depth-averaged mean stream-wise velocity agree well to experimental measurements. In this specific case, two interacting cells are formed that swap from one bend to the other. Transport and mixing of a pollutant is analysed using three different positions of release, e.g. on the inner bank, on the outer bank and on the centre of the cross section. The obtained depth-average mean concentration profiles are reasonably consistent with available experimental data. The role of the secondary motions in the mixing processes is the main focus of the discussion. It is found that the mixing when the scalar is released on the centre of the cross-section is stronger and faster than the mixing of the scalar released on the sides. When the position of release is close to a bank side, the mixing is weaker and a clear concentration of scalar close to the corresponding side-wall can be observed in both cases.


Large Eddy simulation Pollutant mixing River flow Turbulence 



The simulation was carried out using the supercomputing facilities of the Steinbuch Centre for Computing (SCC) of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. The authors would like to thank Clemens Chan-Braun for his valuable and constructive suggestions during the development of this research. MGV acknowledges the financial support of the Spanish Ministry of Education through the program Jose Castillejo.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ignacio J. Moncho-Esteve
    • 1
    Email author
  • Frederik Folke
    • 2
    • 4
  • Manuel García-Villalba
    • 3
  • Guillermo Palau-Salvador
    • 1
  1. 1.Hydraulic Division, Department of Rural and Agrifood EngineeringUniversitat Politècnica de ValènciaValenciaSpain
  2. 2.Institute for HydromechanicsKarlsruhe Institute of TechnologyKarlsruheGermany
  3. 3.Bioengineering and Aerospace Engineering DepartmentUniversidad Carlos III de MadridLeganésSpain
  4. 4.Federal Waterways Engineering and Research Institute (BAW)KarlsruheGermany

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