Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Three-dimensional modelling of a very large river: the Rio Paraná

By S.D. Sandbach, R.J. Hardy, S.N. Lane, D.R. Parsons, J.L. Best, Philip Ashworth, A.J.H. Reesink, M.L. Amsler, R.N. Szupiany, A.P. Nicholas, O. Orfeo and G.H. Sambrook-Smith


Our current understanding of the world’s largest rivers is limited due to the difficulties in obtaining detailed, spatially-distributed, flow and morphological data. Recent progress has been made in obtaining data-rich results, using Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) models within smaller river reaches, but the application of CFD to large rivers has not been fully developed due to our inability to: i) design numerically-stable meshes for complex topographies, and ii) collect high resolution data appropriate for model boundary conditions. Here, we test a new five-term mass-flux scaling algorithm to include bed topography over large spatial scales, where the discretised form of the mass and momentum equations are modified using a mass-flux scalling approach. Converged solutions were obtained using Reynolds-Averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) equations with a κ–ε RNG turbulence closure. Topographic and velocity data were collected for a 38 km reach in the Río Paraná, Argentina, to provide boundary conditions and validation data. The model results demonstrate the importance of topographic steering on determining flow structures in large rivers and the difficulties in objectively identifying coherent secondary flows

Topics: F820 Geomorphology, F840 Physical Geography
Publisher: Bundesanstalt fuer Wasserbau
Year: 2010
OAI identifier:

Suggested articles


  1. (1972). A calculation procedure for heat, mass and momentum transfer in threedimensional parabolic flows;
  2. (1972). A Novel Finite-Difference Formulation for Differential Expressions Involving Both First and Second Derivatives,
  3. Assessing the credibility of a series of computational fluid dynamic simulations of open channel flow.
  4. (2008). Causes of rapid mixing at a junction of two large rivers: Río Paraná and Río Paraguay,
  5. (2007). Comparison of fixed- and moving-vessel flow measurements with an aDp in a large river.
  6. (2008). Form roughness and the absence of secondary flow in a large confluence-diffluence,
  7. (1983). Influence of the point bar on flow through curved channels.
  8. (2005). Morphology and flow fields of three-dimensional dunes, Río Paraná, Argentina: Results from simultaneous multibeam echo sounding and acoustic Doppler current profiling. J Geophys Res,
  9. (2009). Morphology, flow structure, and suspended bed sediment transport at two large braid-bar confluences.
  10. Numerical modeling of flow processes over gravelly surfaces using structured grids and a numerical porosity treatment.
  11. (2006). Numerical simulations on the Paraná de las Palmas River.
  12. (1029). Res,
  13. (2000). Secondary circulation cells in river channel confluences: measurement artefacts or coherent flow structures?.
  14. (1998). Secondary currents around braid bar in Brahmaputra river,
  15. (2006). Three-dimensional modelling of flows over a natural dune field.
  16. (1995). Three-dimensional numerical modelling of water flow in a river with large bed roughness.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.