Experimental Study and Numerical Simulation of Sediment Transport in a Shallow Reservoir


1 Civil Engineering School Federal University of Goias, Goiania, GO, 74605-220, Brazil

2 Department of Hydraulics and SanitationUniversity of Sao Paulo, Sao Carlos, SP, 13566-590, Brazil

3 Department of Civil Engineering - University of Minnesota, South Minneapolis, MN, 55455, USA


The prediction of sedimentation is an important aspect of reservoir planning and design. Such prediction can be supported by detailed analyses of flow patterns and sediment transport inside reservoirs, usually conducted through numerical simulation. This research compares laboratorial sedimentation experiments in a shallow reservoir and predictions using a 2D numerical model with depth-average Navier-Stokes equations and a sediment transport code. A number of sediment transport equations were tested, among which the Engelund and Fredsøe formulation better represented the measured data. Flows without sediment transport or without bed dunes could be simulated using Smagorinski’s turbulence model, while flows with sediment occurring over dunes needed the use of a constant turbulent viscosity. The similarity obtained between experimental data and numerical results, for both flow pattern and sediment deposition, confirms that the models and numerical codes used in this work are useful for the analysis and prediction of reservoir sedimentation.