A review of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) airflow modelling over aeolian landforms

Thomas Smyth

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    22 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Aeolian landforms occur on all earths’ continents as well as on Mars, Titan and Venus and are typically formed where sediment is eroded and/or deposited by near surface wind flow. As wind flow approaches an aeolian landform, secondary flow patterns are created that cause wind to deviate in both speed and direction, producing complex patterns of sediment erosion, deposition and transportation. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling of wind flow has become a common tool to predict and understand secondary wind flow and resulting sediment transport. Its use has progressed from simulating wind flow over simple two dimensional dune shapes, to calculating a multitude of flow parameters over a range of increasingly complex landforms. Analysis of 25 peer reviewed journal articles, found that CFD has been crucial to providing additional insight to flow dynamics on the stoss slope of dunes, the structure and nature of wind flow separation in the lee of landforms and information on localised wind flow variations in large-scale dune fields. The findings of this assay demonstrate that further research is required regarding the parameterisation and modelling of surface roughness, the incorporation of accurate sediment transport to wind flow models, and the prediction of topographic surface changes. CFD is anticipated to be increasingly utilised in aeolian geomorphology and this work aims to be a starting point for aeolian geomorphologists wishing to better understand and review the utilisation of the technique to date.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)153-164
    Number of pages12
    JournalAeolian Research
    Volume22
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016

    Keywords

    • CFD
    • Computational Fluid Dynamics
    • Dune
    • Fluid dynamics
    • Numerical modelling
    • Wind flow

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