A hydrograph-based prediction of meander migration

by Wang, Wei

Abstract (Summary)
Meander migration is a process in which water flow erodes soil on one bank and deposits it on the opposite bank creating a gradual shift of the bank line over time. For bridges crossing such a river, the soil foundation of the abutments may be eroded away before the designed lifetime is reached. For highways parallel to and close to such a river, the whole road may be eaten away. This problem is costing millions of dollars to TxDOT in protection of affected bridges and highway embankments. This research is aimed at developing a methodology which will predict the possible migration of a meander considering the design life of bridges crossing it and highways parallel to it. The approaches we use are experimental tests, numerical simulation, modeling of migration, risk analysis, and development of a computer program. Experimental tests can simulate river flow in a controlled environment. Influential parameters can be chosen, adjusted, and varied systematically to quantify their influence on the problem. The role of numerical simulation is to model the flow field and the stress field at the soil-water interface. Migration modeling is intended to integrate the results of experimental tests and numerical simulations and to develop a model which can make predictions. The Hyperbolic Model is used and its two major components Mmax equation and ?max equation are developed. Uncertainties in the parameters used for prediction make deterministic prediction less meaningful. Risk analysis is used to make the prediction based on a probabilistic approach. Hand calculation is too laborious to apply these procedures. Thus the development of a user friendly computer program is needed to automate the calculations. Experiments performed show that the Hyperbolic Model matches the test data well and is suitable for the prediction of meander migration. Based on analysis of shear stress data from numerical simulation, the ?max equation was derived for the Hyperbolic Model. Extensive work on the simplification of river geometry produced a working solution. The geometry of river channels can be automatically simplified into arcs and straight lines. Future hydrograph is critical to risk analysis. Tens of thousands of hydrographs bearing the same statistical characteristics as in history can be generated. The final product that can be directly used, the MEANDER program, consists of 11,600 lines of code in C++ and 2,500 lines of code in Matlab, not including the part of risk analysis. The computer program is ready for practice engineers to make predictions based on the findings of this research.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Briaud, Jean-Louis; Chang, Kuang-An; Chen, Hamn-Ching; Zhan, Hongbin

School:Texas A&M University

School Location:USA - Texas

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:meander migration hydrograph prediction bank erosion


Date of Publication:05/01/2005

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