Istituto di Scienze Marine     
Tambroni N., Ferrarin C., Canestrelli A. Benchmark on the numerical simulations of the hydrodynamic and morphodynamic evolution of tidal channels and tidal inlets. In: Continental Shelf Research, vol. 30 (8) pp. 963 - 983. The Coastal Morphodynamics of Venice Lagoon and its Inlets. Elsevier, 2010.
A correct understanding of the hydrodynamics and morphodynamics of tidal basins is of fundamental importance for the fate of the Venice Lagoon, Italy. If on one hand, the development of sophisticated numerical models is called for in order to reproduce the complexity of the mechanisms governing the morphodynamic evolution of many natural environments, including lagoons, on the other hand, a clear knowledge of the reliability and limits of the results provided by these models is crucial in order to establish the condition under which they can be safely applied. To this aim, researchers involved in numerical modeling in the framework of the recent Corila research programmes, agreed to perform an accurate comparison of results provided by three different numerical models, applying them to the test case offered by the experimental investigations performed under controlled conditions by Tambroni et al. (2005a). Here, we consider the following numerical models: (i) a 2D finite element hydrodynamic model coupled with a 2D finite volume morphodynamic model ( [Defina, 2000] and [Canestrelli et al., 2007]); (ii) a 2D finite element morphodynamic model (Ferrarin et al., 2008); (iii) a 2D depth-averaged model for the inlet region, coupled with a 1D model for the channel (Tambroni et al., 2005b). A first set of simulations concerns the fixed bed case and shows that all the models provide similar results: in particular, they are able to predict the observed free surface oscillations satisfactorily, while comparison with the measured velocity field is less satisfactory. Moreover, as far as the flow field at the inlet is concerned, the models describe accurately the potential flow into the channel during the flood phase, while they are not able to adequately reproduce the occurrence of the fine structure of the shear layers shed by the inlet edges during the ebb phase. This limit is related to the shallow water character of the models. As for the morphodynamics, the long term equilibrium configurations of the bottom of the channel and of the near inlet region show qualitative agreement with the experimental observations, although in this case the differences between the results provided by the distinct numerical approaches are more marked.
URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.csr.2009.12.005
DOI: 10.1016/j.csr.2009.12.005
Subject 2D numerical modelling
Tidal channels
Tidal inlets morphodynamics

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