390928 Meandering Rivers and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics

Monday, November 17, 2014: 10:30 AM
Marquis Ballroom A (Marriott Marquis Atlanta)
Jonathan J.L. Higdon, Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL

Meandering rivers play an important role in the evolution of geological features and the development of underground strata over geological time scales.  These systems are of significant interest in the petroleum industry as they determine the morphology and transport properties of rock formations in petroleum reservoirs. The basic Parker-Ikeda equations governing the dynamics of meandering rivers involve shallow water averaged hydrodynamics together with sediment transport and erosion of the adjoining beds.  The governing equations form a system of strongly non-linear third order hyperbolic equations which exhibit a variety of interesting instabilities with both spatial and temporal growth modes.  Owing to the hyperbolic equation character, care must be taken in the numerical simulation of the meandering river equations.  In this talk, we consider analytical results concerning the linearized equations, numerical solution strategies, numerical results for large amplitude meanders and some insights into experimental platforms for validating observed phenomena.  We discuss rheological characterization of experimental sand beds to give proper modelling of evolution of  geologic features.

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