A critical reflection of computational fluid dynamics applications to fluvial sedimentary systems

Cao, Z. and Carling, P.A. (2002) A critical reflection of computational fluid dynamics applications to fluvial sedimentary systems. In, Dyer, Fiona J., Thoms, Martin C. and Olley, Jon M. (eds.) The Structure, Function and Management Implications of Fluvial Sedimentary Systems (Proceedings and Reports). International Symposium Wallingford, UK, IAHS Press, 463-470.


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A variety of computational fluid dynamics models for fluvial flow, sediment transport and morphological evolution have been developed and are in widespread use. Yet their quality remains unclear due to poor assumptions in model formulations, implementation of sediment functions of uncertain validity, and problematic use of model calibration and verification as assertions of model veracity. This paper presents a critical reflection of computational river models. It is argued that model calibration can be subjective, verification is impossible and validation does not necessarily establish model truth. It is suggested that computational river models remain premature, and high level expertise, physical insight and experience are vital for meaningful solutions to be acquired and for limitations to be properly assessed.

Item Type: Book Section
ISBNs: 1901502961 (hardback)
Related URLs:
Keywords: fluvial process; sedimentary system; sediment transport; fluvial morphology; computational fluid dynamics; mathematical modelling; river engineering; fluvial hydraulics
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Geography > Environmental Processes and Change
ePrint ID: 15357
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2005
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 11:29
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/15357

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