Research Papers: Offshore Geotechnics

Three-Dimensional Numerical Modeling of Pier Scour Under Current and Waves Using Level-Set Method

[+] Author and Article Information
Mohammad Saud Afzal

Department of Marine Technology,
Norwegian University of Science and Technology,
Trondheim 7491, Norway
e-mail: mohammad.s.afzal@ntnu.no

Hans Bihs, Arun Kamath, Øivind A. Arntsen

Department of Civil and Transport Engineering,
Norwegian University of Science and Technology,
Trondheim 7491, Norway

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Ocean, Offshore, and Arctic Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF OFFSHORE MECHANICS AND ARCTIC ENGINEERING. Manuscript received March 10, 2014; final manuscript received March 4, 2015; published online April 6, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Dong S. Jeng.

J. Offshore Mech. Arct. Eng 137(3), 032001 (Jun 01, 2015) (7 pages) Paper No: OMAE-14-1027; doi: 10.1115/1.4029999 History: Received March 10, 2014; Revised March 04, 2015; Online April 06, 2015

A three-dimensional (3D) computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model is used to calculate the scour and the deposition pattern around a pier for two different boundary conditions: constant discharge and regular waves. The CFD model solves Reynolds-Averaged Navier–Stokes (RANS) equations in all three dimensions. The location of the free-surface is represented using the level-set method (LSM), which calculates the complex motion of the free-surface in a very realistic manner. For the implementation of waves, the CFD code is used as a numerical wave tank. For the geometric representation of the moveable sediment bed, the LSM is used. The numerical results for the local scour prediction are compared with physical experiments. The decoupling of the hydrodynamic and the morphodynamic time step is tested and found to be a reasonable assumption. For the two situations of local pier scour under current and wave conditions, the numerical model predicts the general evolution (geometry, location, and maximum scour depth) and time development of the scour hole accurately.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Graf, W., and Istiarto, I., 2002, “Flow Pattern in the Scour Hole Around a Cylinder,” J. Hydraul. Res., 40(1), pp. 13–20. [CrossRef]
Olsen, N. R. B., and Melaaen, M. C., 1993, “Three-Dimensional Calculation of Scour Around Cylinders,” J. Hydraul. Eng., 119(9), pp. 1048–1054. [CrossRef]
Olsen, N. R. B., and Kjellesvig, H. M., 1998, “Three-Dimensional Numerical Flow Modelling for Estimation of Maximum Local Scour Depth,” IAHR J. Hydraul. Res., 36(4), pp. 579–590. [CrossRef]
Roulund, A., Sumer, B. M., Fredsøe, J., and Michelsen, J., 2005, “Numerical and Experimental Investigation of Flow and Scour Around a Circular Pier,” J. Fluid Mech., 534, pp. 351–401. [CrossRef]
Bihs, H., and Olsen, N. R. B., 2008, “Three-Dimensional Numerical Modeling of Pier Scour,” Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Scour and Erosion, ICSE 4, Tokyo, pp. 147–151.
Bihs, H., 2011, “Three-Dimensional Numerical Modeling of Local Scouring in Open Channel Flow,” Ph.D. thesis, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.
Liu, X., and Garcia, M., 2008, “Three-Dimensional Numerical Model With Free Water Surface and Mesh Deformation for Local Sediment Scour,” J. Waterw., Port, Coastal, Ocean Eng., 134(4), pp. 203–217. [CrossRef]
Sumer, B., and Fredsøe, J., 2001, “Wave Scour Around a Large Vertical Circular Cylinder,” J. Waterw., Port, Coastal, Ocean Eng., 127(3), pp. 125–134. [CrossRef]
Link, O., 2006, “Untersuchung der Kolkung an einem schlanken zylindrischen Pfeiler in sandigem Boden,” Wasser Abwasser GWF, 147(6), pp. 421–422.
Wilcox, D. C., 1994, Turbulence Modeling for CFD, DCW Industries, La Canada, CA.
Chorin, A., 1968, “Numerical Solution of the Navier Stokes Equations,” Math. Comput., 22(104), pp. 745–762. [CrossRef]
van der Vorst, H., 1992, “BI-GStab: A Fast and Smoothly Converging Variant of BI-CG for the Solution of Nonsymmetric Linear Systems,” SIAM J. Sci. Stat. Comput., 13(2), pp. 631–644. [CrossRef]
Jiang, G. S., and Shu, C. W., 1996, “Efficient Implementation of Weighted Eno Schemes,” J. Comput. Phys., 126(1), pp. 202–228. [CrossRef]
Shu, C. W., and Gottlieb, S., 1998, “Total Variation Diminishing Runge–Kutta Schemes,” Math. Comput., 67(221), pp. 73–85. [CrossRef]
Osher, S., and Sethian, J. A., 1988, “Fronts Propagating With Curvature-Dependent Speed: Algorithms Based on Hamilton-Jacobi Formulations,” J. Comput. Phys., 79(1), pp. 12–49. [CrossRef]
Bihs, H., Ong, M., Kamath, A., and Arntsen, Ø. A., 2013, “A Level Set Method Based Numerical Wave Tank for Calculation of Wave Forces on Horizontal and Vertical Cylinders,” Proceedings of the 7th National Conference on Computation Mechanics MekIT‘13, Trondheim, Norway, pp. 59–70.
Jacobsen, N. G., Fuhrman, D. R., and Fredsøe, J., 2011, “A Wave Generation Toolbox for the Open-Source CFD Library: Openfoam,” Int. J. Numer. Methods Fluids, 70(9), pp. 1073–1088. [CrossRef]
Zeng, J., Constantinescu, G., and Weber, L., 2005, “A Fully 3D Non-Hydrostatic Model for Prediction of Flow, Sediment Transport and Bed Morphology in Open Channels,” Proceedings of the 31st IAHR Congress, pp. 1327–1338.
Engelund, F., and Fredsøe, J., 1976, “A Sediment Transport Model for Straight Alluvial Channels,” Nord. Hydrol., 7(5), pp. 293–306. [CrossRef]
Einstein, H. A., 1950, The Bed-Load Function for Sediment Transportation in Open Channel Flows, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC.
van Rijn, L. C., 1984, “Sediment Transport—Part II: Suspended Load Transport,” J. Hydraul. Eng., 110(11), pp. 1613–1641. [CrossRef]
Shields, A., 1936, “Anwendungen der Ähnlichkeitsmechanik und der turbulenzforschung auf die geschiebebewegung,” Mitteilungen der Preuischen Versuchsanstalt für Wasser-, Erdund Schiffbau, Berlin.
Dey, S., 2001, “Experimental Studies on Incipient Motion of Sediment Particles,” J. Sediment. Res., 16(3), pp. 391–398.
Burkow, M., 2010, “Numerische simulation stromungsbedingten sedimenttransports und der entstehenden gerinnebettformen,” Master's thesis, Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftlichen Fakultat der Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitat Bonn, Bonn, Germany.
Wu, W., Rodi, W., and Wenka, T., 2000, “3D Numerical Modeling of Flow and Sediment Transport in Open Channels,” J. Hydraul. Eng., 126(1), pp. 4–15. [CrossRef]
Jacobsen, N. G., Fredsoe, J., and Jensen, J. H., 2014, “Formation and Development of a Breaker Bar Under Regular Waves—Part 1: Model Description and Hydrodynamics,” Coastal Eng., 88, pp. 182–193. [CrossRef]
Liang, D., and Cheng, L., 2005, “Numerical Modeling of Flow and Scour Below a Pipeline in Currents: Part I: Flow Simulation,” Coastal Eng., 52(1), pp. 25–42. [CrossRef]
Liang, D., Cheng, L., and Li, F., 2005, “Numerical Modeling of Flow and Scour Below a Pipeline in Currents—Part II: Scour Simulation,” Coastal Eng., 52(1), pp. 43–62. [CrossRef]


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Pier numerical setup under steady current

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Contour plot of experimental result (as in Ref. [6])

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Model result with k–ω model and Dey empirical formula for bed shear stress reduction

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Time development of scour, numerical model (REEF3D) with k–ω model and Dey empirical formula for bed shear stress reduction

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

3D model result under constant discharge showing free-surface and topography

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Pier numerical setup under waves

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Contour plot of bed elevation changes under waves (experimental from Ref. [8])

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Contour plot of bed elevation changes under waves (model result)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Time development of scour under waves using numerical model (REEF3D)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

Time development of scour under waves by varying relaxation factors for sediment time step

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

3D model result under waves showing free-surface and topography



Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In